WATCH: Peebles’ worst flood since 1949

The Peebles public have joined Scottish Borders Council and emergency services to begin the clean-up effort following what is thought to be the worst flooding in the town since 1949.

Thursday, 31st December 2015, 9:30 am

Scottish Borders Council (SBC) and partners, including Police Scotland and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, monitored the weather and river levels from Tuesday evening, along with the Met Office and SEPA, co-ordinating the multi-agency response from SBC’s Emergency Planning Bunker.

And 25 local residents attended the emergency rest centre at the Burgh Hall in Peebles on Wednesday night, with all of them later leaving to stay with family or friends overnight.

Residents at Peebles Nursing Home had been moved to an upper floor during Tuesday, and were later evacuated to alternative care home accommodation after flood water caused damage to a boiler and restricted access to key facilities.

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The A72 was closed for a significant period of Wednesday evening due to flooding near Dirtpot Corner, and in addition to the flooding at Peebles, a small number of properties at Lindean, near Selkirk were flooded.

Elsewhere, flooding resulted in a number of road closures, including the A699 at Springwood Park, Kelso. Scottish Borders Council’s website contains a constantly updated list of road closures.

Deputy Chief Executive of SBC, Jeanette McDiarmid, said: “Scottish Borders Council and our partners faced an extremely challenging time during Wednesday as the effects of Storm Frank took hold.

“The localised rainfall from the storm, particularly in the upper Tweed and Teviot catchments, resulted in significant river flows downstream throughout the day and into the evening, which brought flooding to a number of communities, but most dramatically at Peebles.

“River levels dropped gradually through the afternoon and evening and fortunately with drier weather forecasted for the next few days we can now concentrate on the clean-up.

“We have already had a number of offers of help from members of the public in Peebles and we would be delighted to have their support tomorrow to start cleaning up affected areas of the town.”

Members of the public who wish to assist with the clean-up efforts can meet at Edinburgh Road Car Park from 9am on Thursday morning with shovels and brushes. Volunteers should be dressed appropriately for clean-up tasks, eg wellington boots, gloves etc. Scottish Borders Council staff will be on hand to co-ordinate operations.

Rob Dickinson, Gold Commander for the multi-agency response, added: “Our priority this morning is to make an assessment of the damage, ensure roads, bridges and other structures are safe and support members of the communities as much as we possibly can to deal with the aftermath of the flooding.”