Thawing and flooding - update 4

  16 January 2010

In some areas, there remains a considerable volume of water locked up in the extensive snow cover which, in many cases, is overlying frozen ground and has the potential to contribute to flooding. Although the thaw of lying snow has been ongoing for the past three days it is expected to continue for several days yet and this, in combination with spells of heavy rainfall, is likely to result in river levels rising significantly in many areas over the next 24 to 48 hours.

Today (Saturday, 16 January) a band of rain (and hill snow) is crossing Scotland with temperatures continuing to rise; hence there will be a continued thaw of lying snow in many areas. The heaviest rainfall will be over parts of  Dumfries and Galloway, the Borders and the Southern and Eastern Highlands and this, in combination with the snow melt, is likely to result in further rises in river levels, especially across the south of Scotland initially, but other areas later. The rain is expected to clear the east coast of Scotland this afternoon, but the thaw will continue and river levels are expected to rise further in many areas

Flood warnings are currently in force for the River Nith, Earn, Tyne (at Haddington), Water of Leith (Edinburgh) and the Lyne and Jed Waters in the Borders.

Throughout the next 24 hours there also remains the risk of localised surface water flooding which may be exacerbated by frozen ground and residual ice blocking the free drainage of surface water.

SEPA monitors rainfall and river levels around the clock, using this information to update the SEPA website with flood alerts as appropriate. This information can be accessed through SEPA’s live flood updates and also via 0845 988 1188. SEPA encourages anyone concerned about the possibility of flooding to use these sources of information and ensure they are prepared and have plans in place should there be any issues.