UK weather: Surging floods ‘wash away’ bridges in Scotland in major incident

Oct 29, 2021 News

UK weather: Surging floods ‘wash away’ bridges in Scotland in major incident

Residents had to leave their homes on Thursday as torrential rain “washed away” two bridges in Scotland.

An evacuation operation was launched in Hawick with residents forced to leave their homes as rising water levels caused the Teviot to burst its banks in parts of the Scottish Borders town, prompting police to declare a “major incident”.

Residents in the most at-risk areas were warned to prepare to flee at short notice overnight amid fears that up to 500 properties could be under threat.

Key information:

  • Plans to evacuate residents and businesses from properties likely to be affected are now being activated
  • The decision has been taken to close Trinity Primary School and Hawick High School and send pupils and staff home. Individual communications direct to parents have been issued.
  • NHS Borders has taken the decision to close Teviot Health Centre and all services that operate within the Health Centre.
  • The Council has reopened the rest centre at Teviotdale Leisure Centre at 2pm to provide assistance to those displaced by the risk of flooding.
  • Several schools in Dumfries and Galloway were closed after flooding blocked roads. On Thursday night, there were 19 flood warnings in place across Scotland, 14 of them in the Scottish Borders.

    Network Rail was forced to close the line between Dumfries and Carlisle on Thursday night. 

    It tweeted: "Two road bridges have been washed away on the river Annan, north of the railway. We’re unable to allow trains to pass over the Annan Viaduct pending a daylight safety inspection."

    There were also warnings that floods would cause sewage discharges to rise in the north-west of England.

    Data from campaign group Surfers Against Sewage showed overflows in 14 sites along the coast this week as floods hit Cumbria.

    Sewage discharges were expected to rise in Cumbria as the local water company continued dumping waste after spilling the most in the country last year.

    UK weather: Surging floods 'wash away' bridges in Scotland in major incident

    United Utilities spilled untreated sewage for 726,450 hours last year, higher than any other water company.

    Spills are only supposed to take place following extremely wet weather as rainwater overwhelms the system.

    The firm said it had more sewer overflows and sewers that combined rain and sewage, leading to higher figures.

    A United Utilities spokesman said: “During storm conditions, when sewers and treatment plants are operating at full capacity, we are permitted to spill excess storm water from combined sewer overflows to help prevent the flooding of streets, homes and businesses.”