Emergency hotline to help deal with floods

Peebles post flooding by Jim Barton'Floodgates at Tweed Green, Peebles.'A barrier across this lane off Tweed Green after yesterday's flood has subsided. Houses and bungalows in the background have been flooded and the householders are starting the unpleasant task of clearing out ruined carpets and furniture.

Peebles post flooding by Jim Barton'Floodgates at Tweed Green, Peebles.'A barrier across this lane off Tweed Green after yesterday's flood has subsided. Houses and bungalows in the background have been flooded and the householders are starting the unpleasant task of clearing out ruined carpets and furniture.

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A housing charity is setting up a specialist hotline for people in the Borders who have been affected by the recent flooding.

In the aftermath of Dcemabr and January’s extreme weather, the housing and homelessness charity Shelter Scotland has set up a temporary emergency helpline number offering expert housing advice to anyone affected, on 0344 515 2402.

Advisors from the charity’s central hub in Edinburgh have been designated to offer guidance to home owners and tenants in the Borders.

They will be well placed to offer advice on issues such as peoples’ rights and responsibilities in the event and aftermath of flooding, furniture replacement options, accessing low interest rate loans and crisis grants.

Shelter Scotland’s deputy director Alison Watson, said: “It can be overwhelming for families and individuals dealing with the aftermath of flooding in their home.

“We want people to know that they are not alone. Shelter Scotland advisors, along with other agencies, are here to help anyone affected by flooding to navigate through the process of repairing damage, getting back into their homes and on with their lives.

“Our dedicated emergency helpline number offers anyone who is in crisis because of the recent flooding somewhere to turn for expert housing advice.

“This helpline will be open for the next two months to support those caught up in the disaster, offering advice on financial help available, insurance issues and finding alternative accommodation where it is needed.

“We’d urge anyone affected by the flooding to call 0344 515 2402.”

Meanwhile it has emerged that the flooding in Peeblesshire could have been even worse were it not for some innovative river management.

The Eddelston Water has been susceptible to flooding since it was straightened by farmers 200 years ago.

But a programme of flow-restriction and tree planting, completed two years ago by the Tweed Forum, has meant that the Eddlestone Water and the Cuddy contained their extra water.

A Scottish Borders Council spokesperson said: ““While natural flood management can never replace hard defences in towns, it can help lessen the effects of flooding and increase resilience in the long term.”