Culvert block ‘caused flood’

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A BLOCKED culvert has been blamed for the flash flood which hit Jedburgh in August, writes Kenny Paterson.

A report by engineering consultants Halcrow, being presented to Scottish Borders Council’s environment and infrastructure committee today, says the inlet of the culvert at Skip Running Burn was “completely or almost completely blocked” by debris.

In the August 5 flood, water levels in the burn rose two metres in less than 15 minutes, leading to damage to 50 homes and businesses.

The flow of water in the burn was labelled a one-in-12-year event, and the flood itself was said to be likely to be seen once every nine years on average.

Halcrow’s paper recommends that work to prevent future flooding is taken forward in three stages from short-term improvements to longer-term maintenance.

The total cost of phase one and two of the project is estimated at £470,000, and the report proposes Scottish Borders Council set aside £450,000 in February’s draft 10- year capital financial plan.

To be eligible for Scottish Government funding to contribute to that total, the report requests that SBC pay £20,000 from its emergency and unplanned schemes budget to set up a flood protection scheme.

Flooding affected the Castlegate, Canongate and the High Street, with about 50 fire fighters, among other emergency services, and 50 SBC staff attending.

The report by Halcrow will be presented to the Jedburgh community if approved by the committee today.