SBC’s two-pronged approach to stem Hawick’s flood risk

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THE town’s councillors have met with flood protection officials to formalise future plans to reduce the risks to Hawick.

Officers from Scotish Borders Council’s flood protection team held talks with local members in the town hall to review a draft of the new implementation plan for reducing the flood risk to Hawick.

Part of SBC’s overall strategy for the implementation of flood protection schemes, the plan has been developed out of recognition that there is a serious risk to the town – but that it will be very expensive to reduce substantially.

As a result the council is planning a two-pronged approach which comprises a short-term minor works programme – including new flood gates and maintenance of riverbeds – but also aspires to a long-term Flood Protection Scheme. Conor Price, project manager for SBC, stated: “The council has advanced flood protection schemes for Galashiels and Selkirk over the past two years. We have gained significant experience from this and will now direct all of towards the problem faced by the people of Hawick.”

For the past eight months, Halcrow Group has been working to update the existing computerised model of flood flows in the Teviot, believed to be the most accurate 1D to 2D linked hydro-dynamic model yet created in Scotland. It allows the council to evaluate which measures can be undertaken for those areas which suffer from the earliest onset of flooding, and will provide the backbone of design work in developing the flood protection scheme.

Councillor Ron Smith, Hawick member of the council’s flood advisory group, said: “A great deal of work has clearly been going on to investigate how Hawick’s serious flood-risk problem can be improved.

“While I understand why a major flood protection scheme must be progressed, I’m much more confident now that projects are being identified where more moderate funding will be able to deliver visible benefits in localised areas.”