Preparing for stormy weather this weekend

Preparations are underway to manage the impact of heavy rain and thunderstorms, which are forecast this weekend.

Weather warnings in place

Yellow warnings for rain and storms are currently in place for Edinburgh, along with much of Scotland and England, throughout Friday and Saturday.

This severe weather follows several instances of exceptional rainfall throughout June, July and, most recently, this week, resulting in localised flooding and surface water around the city.

The City of Edinburgh Council’s flooding and roads teams are closely monitoring the weather situation and water flows along the Water of Leith, and are on standby to respond to issues, in liaison with the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency.

Transport Convener praises work of flooding teams

Transport and Environment Convener, Councillor Lesley Macinnes, said: “There’s no doubt that recent months have brought their fair share of wet, stormy weather, which can have a real impact on the city. Our roads and flooding teams have worked extremely hard to limit disruption for the public, ensuring the majority of Council services continue as usual.

“It is almost impossible to avoid the negative effects of freak storms such as these but we’re continuously working to better understand the areas most at risk of flooding, and where we can put measures in place to mitigate this.

“I would also encourage the public to follow our advice on protecting their own properties from flooding damage, as well as planning any travel ahead during periods of heavy weather.”

Actions to limit the impact of heavy rain

In June, flash storms saw Edinburgh hit with more than than a month’s expected rainfall within two hours, while on Wednesday (7 August) the city experienced just under a third of a month’s rain in just one hour - 19mm.

While an ongoing gully-clearing programme aims to limit the impact of rain on the city’s drainage system, gullies, road drainage and sewers (maintained by Scottish Water) are not designed to withstand the unexpected, extraordinary levels of rain seen in recent months.

Roads teams operating gully motors and pumps will continue to deal with reported blockages throughout the night and will respond to flooding if it occurs, along with Scottish Water, who manage overflowing sewers. Flooding staff will also monitor water courses, including the Water of Leith, inspecting and clearing culvert screens and assessing the need to close flood gates.

How you can prepare for extreme weather

Find out more about protecting your property from heavy rain on the Council website, including information on sandbags provided by the Council, which can be collected from a number of local fire stations.

People should plan any travel ahead in the event of disruptive severe weather and can receive travel updates by following @Edinburgh_CC, @edintravel and @trafficscotland on Twitter, as well as transport operators.

The kind of severe weather seen recently could become more frequent in future, and the Council intends to develop surface water management plans to better understand the areas at risk of flooding from these types of events. We will also continue to work with partners and the public to mitigate the impact of surface water flooding where possible.

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