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Thanking our flood forecasters

Published: 9 Dec 2015 11:43

Flooding Minister visits coordination centre.

Flooding Minister Dr Aileen McLeod has met front-line workers who have been monitoring the weather forecasts to prepare local communities for possible flooding.

Visiting the coordination centre for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Dr McLeod heard how specialised staff analyse a range of data to predict when and where floods might occur.

With gale force winds and periods of heavy rain set to affect communities previously hit over the weekend, Dr McLeod has urged the public to plan ahead to stay safe.

Dr Aileen McLeod said:

"With more rain expected for the coming days, forecasters say that further floods and rapidly rising rivers will continue to have a significant impact on our communities.

"It is vital that the public take every step to brace themselves for another stormy few days.

"Once again I urge people to visit the Floodline website or sign up to their text alerts, to see if their home or business is at risk and access advice and simple tools to help reduce the impact.

"I am extremely grateful to the flood forecasting and warning team who work around the clock to monitor the amount of rainfall occurring and the impact on local communities in real-time.

"This information, based on joint working with the Met office, is key to ensuring that steps are taken to help protect Scottish communities."

Marc Becker, SEPA's Hydrology Duty Manager, said:

"Outbreaks of rain, accompanied by gale force winds, are expected across the country today with the heaviest and most persistent rain likely to fall across central Scotland and the western Highlands.

"Flooding impacts may affect communities and cause disruption to travel and infrastructure in Tayside today as the heavy rain will cause river levels, which are already high, to rise again. However peak levels are expected to be lower than those seen over the weekend.

"There is also a risk of localised flooding, due to heavy rain falling on saturated ground, in Dumfries and Galloway, western areas of the Scottish Borders, Easter Ross and the Great Glen and around the Spey.

"The rain is expected to turn to showers during Wednesday evening and these will continue overnight and into Thursday.

"We are continuing to monitor the situation closely and the latest flood updates are available on our live flood updates page of the SEPA website.

"We also encourage people to sign up for free flood messages direct to their phone by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or via our website. Members of the public can also use the recently launched Report–a-Flood tool to inform us of flooding incidents. SEPA will publish these reports online to increase awareness of local flood impacts and help keep communities informed of the areas most affected.

"Please note that Report-a-Flood is purely for information sharing and cannot be used to report problems, ask questions or report emergencies. Emergency situations should always be reported to the emergency services."

Notes to editors

SEPA have a network of over 250 rainfall, river and coastal monitoring stations throughout Scotland that generate data 24 hours a day.

Floodline offers free warnings sent direct by phone, email or text message.

The public can also view the latest travel update in their area on Traffic Scotland.