Councillor Stuart Marshall at Albert Park, Hawick. (PHOTO: BILL McBURNIE)

Heavy rainfall left Hawick on a flooding knife-edge for 48 hours

Rain-battered Hawick avoided another potentially catastrophic flooding event at the weekend by the “skin of our teeth”, a town councillor has warned.

By Paul Kelly
Monday, 22nd February 2021, 1:13 pm

Seven flood warnings were in place across the Borders from Friday as a result of heavy downpours across the region.

Yarrow Valley, Tweedbank to Floors, Newcastleton, Hawick to Monteviot, Ettrick Valley and Drumelzeir to Dawyck were all at risk.

The A7 was blocked for a time between Hawick and Langholm at Fiddleton.

In Hawick itself, sandbags were placed along the banks of the River Teviot to plug gaps in the town’s flood defences, currently under construction as part of a vital £85m protection scheme.

It was another busy weekend for Hawick and Denholm councillor Stuart Marshall in his role as chairman of the town’s flood group.

Happily, improving conditions across the weekend meant a town flood warning was no longer in place come Saturday evening.

But it proved another reminder of the vital need for the flood defence scheme to be completed.

Mr Marshall said: “We got away by what could have been a more serious outcome by the skin of our teeth.

"Lower Mansfield was affected and a decision was taken to close off the road that leads to the rugby club, YM, and Royal Albert grounds.“Thankfully whilst the Teviot broke its banks in this area no major damage occurred, although it prompted the Royal Albert to put out a desperate call for loads of sandbags to be delivered and the players and officials were on hand to assist.

"Hawick Royal Albert is a fantastic club with such dedicated players and hard working committee and volunteers. Last year they were flooded out twice in space of a few weeks and they certainly don’t deserve any more devastation.

"They have done so much over the years to protect the club from flooding but until the Hawick scheme is complete then I fear they are always going to be a high risk.

"I have nothing but praise for our council staff and indeed our contractors McLaughlin and Harvey who worked tirelessly throughout the weekend to bolster our flood defences. I would also like to thank Hawick Flood Group who were supporting the town throughout those worrying 48 hours.”

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