More flood precautions put in place

Residents in the town’s flooding hot spots are once again preparing to battle rising river levels as the New Year approaches.

And although Hawick looks likely to miss the worst of today’s predicted heavy rainfall, council workers were on the streets as early as Monday sandbagging at-risk areas and buildings.

Scottish Borders Council was set to take over Teviotdale Leisure Centre yesterday (Tuesday) and if another emergency situation strikes the local authority will evacuate those in the flood plain.

Hawick flood group boss and councillor Stuart Marshall says it’s better to be overprepared than not at all.

He told the Hawick News on Tuesday morning: “With our town bracing itself for yet another storm the flood group are on stand-by to assist in whatever way we can.

“I know that the council are taking this latest storm very seriously indeed and all the sandbag stores in the town are fully stocked.

“I’m also aware that the leisure centre has been contacted in case it is required once again to be used as a shelter.

“Meetings have also been taking place between emergency planners and various partners but at the moment these measures are all precautionary.”

Mr Marshall said many in the town who were affected earlier in the month are quite rightly feeling very anxious.

“Of course this news will be of little comfort to the many householders and businesses that are still drying out from Storm Desmond, and with yet another storm fast approaching, people will quite rightly be feeling nervous yet again,” said Mr Marshall.

He added: “Over the past few days I have taken several calls from the public asking about how to acquire additional sandbags and what they can do to better prepare
for more bad weather, and yesterday when I visited one flooded family in the Mansfield area they were close to tears at the prospect of even more misery being heaped on them.

“I can only urge everyone to stay safe, and anyone wishing advice on river levels can
contact SEPA on 0345 988 1188.”