SEPA projections indicate that the Teviot in Hawick will peak above 3m, which could result in significant damage to properties in at risk areas of the town and pose a risk to public safety.
The indications from the Scottish Borders Council’s flood team are that this would be a significant flood event with the potential for up to 500 properties being affected.
Senior officers from across the multi-agency partners, including Scottish Borders Council, Police Scotland, NHS Borders and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, have taken the decision to declare a major incident in the town, which will be led by Police Scotland.
Plans to evacuate residents and businesses likely to be affected are now being activated.
The decision was be taken to close Trinity Primary School and Hawick High School and send pupils and staff home and parents have been informed.
NHS Borders has taken the decision to close Teviot Health Centre and all services that operate within it.
The council reopened the rest centre at Teviotdale Leisure Centre at 2pm to provide assistance to those displaced by the risk of flooding.
The flooding situation in Peebles is also very serious and all schools in the Peebles area have closed early this afternoon where transport arrangements permit.
Chief Inspector Vinnie Fisher, Local Area Commander for the Scottish Borders, said: “We have been monitoring the situation with the weather in the Borders closely as the day has progressed and we have now made the decision, alongside our partners, to declare a major incident and have begun evacuating various residents around the River Teviot from their properties.
“We are working with our colleagues at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Scottish Borders Council to safely move all of those affected and ensure they are appropriately accommodated for the time being.
“I would urge the public to avoid travel within the region unless absolutely necessary and to pay attention for more information as we continue to respond to this matter.”