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Council advises Caithness residents to prepare for flash floods and power outages


By David G Scott

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The Met Office has issued a warning for potential power outages and flash flooding affecting parts of Caithness over the next few days so the message from Highland Council is “be prepared”.

The Met Office yellow warning for rain and thunderstorms covers the whole Highlands and is in place from today until Thursday. The yellow warning stretches across the Highland region and into the southern and western part of Caithness.

Met Office map with shaded area showing today's weather system across Caithness.
Met Office map with shaded area showing today's weather system across Caithness.

The Met Office says thundery showers may lead to flooding and transport disruption in parts of Caithness adding that "flooding of homes and businesses could happen quickly, with damage to some buildings from floodwater, lightning strikes, hail or strong winds".

It continues: "Where flooding or lightning strikes occur, there is a chance of delays and some cancellations to train and bus services. Spray and sudden flooding could lead to difficult driving conditions and some road closures.

"Some communities might become cut off if roads flood. Power cuts might occur and other services to some homes and businesses could be lost."

Gullies in areas prone to flooding have been serviced and inspected and over the last few days council staff have been undertaking additional gully cleaning ahead of the weather warning, including in Muir of Ord and Dingwall where a gully emptying machine will be stationed.

Staff are closely monitoring the situation. They are prepared to respond to any impact with the deployment of sandbags and floodgates to vulnerable properties, but are advising all householders and businesses to remain vigilant and to be aware of the warning, their own property responsibilities, and to take any actions they can to prepare.

Torrential rain fills a Caithness drain. The council has been clearing drains and gullies in expectation of the weather warning. Picture: DGS
Torrential rain fills a Caithness drain. The council has been clearing drains and gullies in expectation of the weather warning. Picture: DGS

The executive chief officer for environment and infrastructure Malcolm MacLeod said: “Heavy showers are expected to develop across the whole Highlands on Tuesday afternoon and evening and these downpours are likely to cause disruption due to flooding from surface water and small watercourses. The Met Office warning also highlights a further spell of very wet weather is likely on Wednesday which may lead to flooding from larger rivers.

“Our teams are closely monitoring the forecast and all warnings issued and are as prepared as they can be. If there are any impacts, staff are ready to help those most at risk, including vulnerable members of the community but we need householders and businesses to remain alert and ready to take actions which can help protect themselves and their property.”

Advice and further information on flooding is available through the SEPA Floodline on 0345 9881188. www.sepa.org.uk

People can contact the council to report incidents of flooding by calling 01349 886601 or using the on-line reporting tool at www.highland.gov.uk

Sources of advice and information:

Useful numbers in the event of an emergency

Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)

Current flood warnings across the Highlands

Scottish Flood Forum – Flooding fact sheets

FloodRe – Leaflet

Emergency Kit and Household Plan – Leaflet

Managing Flood Risks in the Highlands [PDF booklet]

Related article:

Met office warns of thundery showers that may affect parts of Caithness


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