£10 million risk in flood forecast

POTENTIAL flood damage totalling more than £10 million could hit the local area if new calculations are correct.

A consultation document on flood management including maps of the most at-risk areas across Scotland has been published for the first time by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).

In figures for the Forth Estuary area, an estimated £6,050,000 was calculated for potential annual average damages for the area including Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge, affecting 929 residential properties and 56 non residential. An estimated £4,480,000 was calculated for average damages over the year affecting 392 residential and 91 non-residential properties in an area including Bo’ness and the Muirhouses.

It is hoped identifying at-risk areas will help local authorities to act to reduce that risk, and minimise impact if it does happen.

Environment minister Stewart Stevenson said the sustainable flood management guidance was ‘a major step forward’ in improving Scotland’s response to floods and strengthening the nation’s resilience.

He added: “Flooding can have a devastating impact on homes and businesses. I welcome these measures which are designed to reduce the risk of flooding and ensure that, where floods occur, they are effectively managed. Furthering our understanding of flooding will also help us to develop long term, sustainable solutions. SEPA’s consultation will provide, for the first time, an accurate picture of which areas are most at risk of flooding.”

SEPA chief executive Dr Campbell Gemmell said: “The minister’s guidance and SEPA’s consultation on areas at significant risk from flooding will help manage floods, by improving the way we all work together and by targeting our efforts for the benefit of Scotland’s people, environment and economy. Approximately one in twenty homes and one in fourteen businesses in Scotland are at risk of flooding.”

Updated information based on the consultation will be published as part of the National Flood Risk Assessment in December 2011.

For more information and advice visit www.sepa.org.uk