A Major Emergency has been called. The Council Emergency Centre is now fully operational with all Function Teams in action. This includes DGFirst, Flood Risk Management Team, Communications and Police Scotland, NHS and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

The Whitesands has now flooded. The road and car parks are now closed. We anticipate that the water will reach the bottom of the Vennel in the next couple of hours. This information is based on a revised flood warning from SEPA on the Whitesands received at 09:47. Water levels are steady but will rise with further rainfall predicted.

The Esk in Langholm is not rising as quickly as previously predicted. The levels are rising steadily. It is anticipated that these will reach at least the same levels as experienced in 2009. Timings of the peak flow are unknown. We are continuing to monitor this situation with colleagues at SEPA.

Property owners in areas that will potentially flood have been contacted by Council officers to advise them of the situation and have been advised to move all valuable items upstairs. Currently, no flooding in Langholm has been reported. However, we are anticipating that this will change over the next few hours.

We are starting to experience flood levels in the upper catchment equivalent to the 2009 flooding event. This will lead to extensive flooding in the Annan catchment including areas around Heck, Hightae, Greenhills and we are already experiencing flooding in the Wamphray area.

Updated SEPA flood guidance statement (issued at 15:00 hrs) continues to show a MEDIUM risk for Saturday, Sunday and extending into Monday.

Staff have contacted all community councils and community resilience groups in Annandale and Eskdale to make them aware of the situation. Particular attention has been paid to the vulnerable areas (Langholm, Heck and Hightae) with additional support being provided as required.

3. Weather Warnings/Forecasts

There are currently three active warnings in force, two for rain and one for wind.

For a localised area covering the eastern half of Dumfries and Galloway

Local Weather update by Met Office at 11:01 on Sat, 05th Dec 2015

The Met Office have issued an Amber Warning of Rain, Valid from 11:15 on Sat, 05th Dec 2015 until 06:00 on Sun, 06th Dec 2015
A slow-moving frontal system is bringing a prolonged spell of heavy rain and strong winds. Rainfall totals of 60 to 100mm are likely quite widely, with some prone mountainous areas in Cumbria seeing in excess of 150 mm through the rest of Saturday and early Sunday, perhaps even very locally over Cumbria a further 200 mm falling. Given saturated conditions and high river levels from recent rainfall, further flooding is likely.

Outbreaks of rain will develop later on Friday, becoming persistent and heavy overnight and lasting through Saturday, before clearing southwards early on Sunday. Be prepared for the likelihood of flooding affecting properties and parts of communities. Watercourses may become dangerous, deep and fast-flowing, while some transport disruption seems likely.

For information, a red flood warning and red warning for rain will be in force for Western Borders, specifically in Hawick and Newcastleton.

For a larger area a Yellow Warning of Rain exists:

The Met Office have issued a Yellow Warning of Rain Valid from 00:05 on Sat, 05th Dec 2015 until 09:00 on Sun, 06th Dec 2015

The Met Office have issued a Yellow Warning of Wind, Valid from 11:40 on Sat, 05th Dec 2015 until 06:00 on Sun, 06th Dec 2015

Further spells of heavy rain and strong to gale force winds are expected to spread from the southwest during Monday bringing more rain. This is forecast to be heaviest across those western areas that have seen the rain over the weekend.

At the moment, Tuesday looks showery with more strong winds, particularly across the north.

• The Amber Warning for Rain has just been updated. This is still assessed as a high likelihood of medium impacts across much of southern and central Scotland (parts of Dumfries & Galloway, the Scottish Borders, Strathclyde, Forth Valley and Tayside), and is valid until 0600 on Sunday. The area has been extended to include more of Argyll, and it’s worth noting the potential for high impacts in Perthshire and the western Borders as mentioned above.

• In addition, eastern parts of the Scottish Borders will be included in an Amber Warning for Wind that will also cover parts of northern England. This will be based upon an assessment of medium likelihood of medium impacts.
• The Yellow Warning for Rain on Saturday and into Sunday morning will remain largely unchanged. This highlights a low likelihood of medium impacts, and cover the much of the remainder of southern and central Scotland, and extend up the west side of the country to include Argyll and the west Highlands. This is valid until 0900 on Sunday.
• A Yellow Warning for Wind has just been updated for Saturday/Sunday. This still covers the West and East RRP areas plus Tayside, south Grampian and the south Highlands. This is based upon an assessment of low likelihood of medium impact, and is valid until 0600 on Sunday.
• The Yellow Alert for Rain across parts of southern, central and western Scotland on Monday will also be updated.

4. Roads Updates

Road closure for the Whitesands remains in place.

The suspension bridge at Langholm has been closed to pedestrian access.

Road closures are now in place at Millhousebridge, Wamphray and Cummertrees. The closures are likely to remain in place for a significant time as the roads are submerged and water levels will not drop in the short term.

Pallets of sandbags are now in place at:

Charles Street – Langholm
Elizabeth Street – Langholm
David Street – Langholm
Port Street – Annan
Bowman Edgar Park – Kirkconnel
Friar’s Vennel – Whitesands

Known flooding trouble spots are continuing to be monitored. Any required road closures will be put in place as appropriate.

River levels are high at Shillabridge. Officers are continuing to monitor the A709 and will take action if required.
5. Local Adverse Weather Impacts

A flood warning is in force for the Whitesands with the road closed. It will remain closed for the foreseeable future.

No significant issues for Scottish Power or British Telecom have been reported.

The main issue is within the Annan and the Esk catchments.

• The Annan is predicted to peak around 5pm at Brydekirk at a level in excess of the November 2009. Approximately 200-400mm higher.

The communities of Heck, Hightae and Greenhills were the most adversely impacted during the last floods and will be cut off again. We have already contacted the Community Councils to make them aware of the potential impact. We are already experiencing flooding in the Wamphray area.

• The Esk is predicted to exceed the November 2009 event. In 2009 the river levels were close to the top of the walls. The level this time is predicted to be 300-800mm higher, with the peak time undefined at present but likely to be later on this afternoon. This would likely lead to property flooding. Resources including the flood pod and palletised sandbags have been deployed to the town. Council, Police Scotland and FRS staff will attend.

This will impact on housing stock on both sides of the river.

The flood pod has arrived in Langholm. This includes a pallet of sandbags (approximately 200) which will be replenished. These will be taken to David Street and available for collection.

The community council have been contacted and have been asked to make contact with the properties along the river to alert them of the situation. Police Scotland, FRS and Council officers have been sent to Langholm to provide additional support.

The flood trailer, sandbags and flood gates have been deployed to the Whitesands.

DG First have crews ready and others from the West on standby if required. If the impact is greater than anticipated, our sub-contractors have also been contacted and are available if required.

6. Police Travel Message
Police advise travel with caution and drive according to the conditions. Standing water and spray will be a general issue across the region.
7. Communications

Listen to media broadcasts especially local radio and DGWGO on Facebook and Traffic Scotland Radio or visit www.trafficscotland.org. For public transport information visit www.travelinescotland.com
Police related information is available on:
General Winter Service and Severe Weather information/updates are available on the Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/dumfriesgallowaycouncil


Latest Articles