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Friday, February 23, 2024

Forres Residents Offered Flood Protection Help

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Flood defences for residential properties will be on display at an event in Forres Town Hall next month.

Residents are encouraged to come along and view the products – which include flood gates, vent guards and Floodsax – and they’ll have the chance to order these at cost price, following a decision by Moray Council last year to invest £20k into the scheme.

Flood gates are used for protecting against water ingress through doorways, vent guards are used to cover air vents, and Floodsaxs are a lightweight, easy-to-store, biodegradable alternative to sandbags.

The event takes place on Thursday 3 November from 1.30 – 7pm, and joining Moray Council will be the community resilience group, Scottish Water, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), and the Scottish Flood Forum.

These partner agencies will be on hand to give advice to residents on how to protect their homes from the risk of flooding.

Those who can’t attend will have the opportunity to order the flood defence products online; these details will be confirmed by Moray Council at a later date.

Leader of Moray Council, Cllr Kathleen Robertson, said:

“With extensive flood alleviation schemes constructed across Moray, there hasn’t been a major flood event in recent years, but there has been localised flooding – including flash flooding – resulting in water entering homes, which is understandably distressing.

“Scientists are predicting wetter winters for Scotland, and with that comes increased flood risk.

“We’re supporting those living in Moray to be prepared, and showcasing the types of products which could help protect their home.”

A Scottish Water Spokesperson said:

“While significant work has been undertaken in recent years to build a better understanding of the drainage network in Forres, there are few quick or easy solutions to dealing with types of intense rainstorms that are becoming more frequent across the country and our focus continues to be on finding ways of managing surface water sustainably on the surface so that it does not rapidly enter and overwhelm combined sewers. 

“We will always do our best to respond, assist customers and clean up as quickly as we can where flooding from the sewer occurs.

“We are committed to learning from incidents and improving the way that we respond so wherever customers are affected by sewer flooding, either inside or outside their homes, we want to know – and would ask customers to contact us on 0800 077 8778 or via our website as soon as possible.

“In the longer term, we will continue to work closely with Moray Council, developers and other partners to support the development of its Surface Water Management Plan and to explore any opportunities that are identified.”

Paul Copestake, Flood Advisor at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), added:

“Flooding from our coasts, rivers and rainfall can devastate our communities, businesses and essential services.

“We look forward to the open event in Forres where we will provide essential advice and information on how to prepare for the impacts of flooding.

“There will also be a chance to sign up to our Floodline service to receive notification of when flooding is expected in your area.”

Senior Community Resilience Manager from the Scottish Flood Forum (SFF), Paul Laidlaw, said:

“We are Scotland’s only independent charity dedicated to supporting people at risk of flooding.

“An important part of our work involves giving independent impartial advice on property flood resilience (PFR).

“We are delighted to be supporting Moray Council’s pilot PFR scheme for Forres, as we know the difference PFR can make when installed, deployed and maintained correctly.

“Our view is that PFR works best when it goes hand-in-hand with local community resilience plans as PFR knowledge, experience and skills is shared in the community.

“We will display a wide range of property flood resistance products so people can consider how they best suit their home and ask people if they are interested in an independent SFF PFR home assessment.

“We will also be able to advise people on the developing Build Back Better (BBB) initiative where if you have BBB as an insurance policy option, you can reinstate the property with PFR measures up to the value of £10,000.”

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