Residents prepped for evacuation as urgent repairs made to Jedburgh’s flood defences

Residents in Jedburgh’s flood-risk area are being prepped for evacuation while repairs are made to the town’s flood wall.

Thursday, 13th February 2020, 5:01 pm
Jedburgh councillor Jim Brown at Richmond Row.

The Jed Water defences at Richmond Row, damaged when the river burst its banks during Storm Ciara on Sunday, are undergoing urgent repairs today.

Scottish Borders Council says damage to gabion baskets, the stone-filled cages on the river bank, was most likely caused by large debris striking the riverbank during the heightened river levels.

As a result, it is working to try retain flood protection to the 12 properties, mainly inhabited by the elderly, in Richmond Row.

With more rainfall expected today and tomorrow, there’s fears a failing in the wall would create a high risk of the properties there, 11 of which are owned by Scottish Borders Housing Association, will be severely flooded.

Both SBHA and the council are working on evacuation plans incase repairs are unsuccessful.

SBHA chief executive Julia Mulloy said: “The safety of our residents is always our ultimate priority.

“Given the damage to the flood defence and the fact there are further yellow warnings in place for rain we have made our residents aware of the risks and are now putting in place robust plans for an evacuation, should it be required.

“We are very grateful to our partners at SBC for forewarning us of this risk and we will continue to work with the council closely over the coming days.”

Jedburgh councillor Jim Brown is reassured to see prompt action on the repairs.

“I’d like to reassure residents that work is underway and that with more rainfall due we hope there won’t be any need for residents to worry,” he added.

The council’s chief executive Tracey Logan added that any evacuation would be carried out “promptly and in an organised manner”.

She added: “While we are attempting to repair the damage to the flood defence we have to acknowledge the risk that further heavy rainfall and snow melt poses.

“We have put in place a structured decision making process to ensure that any evacuation of Richmond Row can be carried out promptly and in an organised manner if it becomes necessary.

“We are continuing to monitor the weather forecast closely and remain in regular contact with our colleagues at the Met Office and SEPA.”