Work costing £280,000 has been carried out on almost 40 houses in Peebles hit by flooding during 2015’s Storm Frank to help protect them against future floods.
Properties in the town’s Tweed Green, Tweed Avenue and Walkershaugh were left badly damaged by the December 2015 storm, and many residents were forced to leave their homes for up to six months while repairs were carried out.
That prompted the Scottish Government to hand over £2.4m to Scottish Borders Council to deal with the aftermath of the floods, and £280,000 of that has now been spent on a property-level protection scheme in Peebles.
Some 37 homes affected by Storm Frank have been fitted with flood doors or barriers, self-closing airbricks, sump pumps and non-return values.
The scheme is an interim measure as the council is currently undertaking research in Peebles, Innerleithen and Broughton as part of its Tweed flood risk management plan.
That study will assess flood risks and come up with options to protect properties against adverse weather events.
Selkirkshire councillor Gordon Edgar, the authority’s executive member for roads and infrastructure, said: “Storm Frank was a traumatic experience for many residents in the Tweed Green, Tweed Avenue and Walkershaugh area of Peebles, with the flooding some of the worst ever seen in the town.
“Huge damage was caused, but the property-level protection scheme will increase the resilience of these properties, allowing them to recover more quickly from future flood events.
“A resilient communities group was recently formed in Peebles, and we have provided similar equipment to the group’s volunteers, so if a flooding emergency occurs again, the community can work together and help each other out.
“In addition, the council currently offers subsidised flood protection products to help homeowners across the Borders to protect their properties. Visit www.scotborders.gov.uk/flooding for more information.”
Scottish Government environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham added: “Storm Frank caused devastation across the country, so I am pleased that Scottish Government funding will help properties in the Borders recover from the impact of these floods and make them better prepared for the future.
“The Scottish Government is committed to working with partners to reduce flood risk across Scotland and has committed £420m over the next 10 years to protect communities and businesses in many of our most flood-prone areas.
“We are also providing £140,000 a year to the Scottish Flood Forum, which works directly with communities and individuals at risk of flooding to raise awareness and help them take action to protect their property.
“I would urge people to prepare for flooding and sign up to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency’s Floodline service to get the latest flood information direct to their mobile phone.”