Dr McLeod commented:
“Dumfries & Galloway’s coast was hit hard in the coastal flooding with significant damage in several locations and communities right along our coast affected. At present the only advance warning of coastal flooding which the region will receive is a general warning covering the whole of the region’s coastline.
“Given the length of our coast and its very varied geography, it makes a lot of sense to have more specific and detailed warnings to allow people to prepare more effectively when flooding does occur.
“The Environment Minister’s confirmation that the Dumfries & Galloway coast will benefit from such a scheme and that it will be operational in 2015 is encouraging and I hope that it will help people to prepare for future flooding.
“It is probably safe to say that we will see more flooding incidents such as the recent events in the future, so the better prepared the region is and the more warning that people have, the better prepared they will be to respond when it does happen.”
Notes to Editors:
Dr McLeod’s question and the Environment Minister’s answer is below:
Aileen McLeod (South Scotland) (SNP): The minister will be aware that many settlements on the Dumfries and Galloway coast were affected by this severe weather and that, at present, the region receives only a general warning of the likelihood of such an event. Given the length and varied topography of the region’s coastline, will the minister give consideration to how more specific and localised coastal flood warnings can be issued in future?
Paul Wheelhouse: Certainly. We have recently implemented the Forth and Tay coastal warning scheme; I will have to check the number but I think that there are 11 or 12 different locations along the coastline—including Eyemouth, the place I live closest to—that have specific warnings in place. I hope that I can reassure the member by saying that SEPA, in its forward programme for developing warning schemes, has such a scheme planned for the Solway coast for 2015; that too will involve a number of locations on that coastline in providing a detailed warning. However, I have told the leader and chief executive of Dumfries and Galloway Council that I am looking to them for advice about particular sites and river systems in Dumfries and Galloway where they feel that such a scheme would add particular value and we will then consider the resources required to provide that.