Anyone in Edinburgh on Sunday could tell you that there was a record amount of rain in a very short space of time.
It is estimated that up to 37mm of rain which is half of the total average expected in July fell in less than an hour on Sunday.
A yellow weather warning remains in place and drivers are urged to take care and avoid any flooded areas. Several drivers could be seen on social media posts driving at speed through the floods in Stockbridge yesterday causing damage to businesses there by displacing the floodwater.
The flood prevention team has been monitoring river flows throughout the night, closing lower flood gates at Baird Drive and Stockbridge Colonies as a precautionary measure, as well as clearing some localised culvert trash screens. With a flood alert issued by SEPA still in place, officers will continue to check river flows and weather forecasts and respond accordingly.
Following exchanges on Twitter this morning with the Transport and Environment Convener and Gareth Barwell who is Head of Place Management at The City of Edinburgh Council, the council has been quick to say that gully cleaning alone is not to blame for the flooding. It is simply the volume of water which was to blame. There were many who posted photos of choked gullies, citing them as part of the problem, but this has been dismissed by the council.
A spokesperson said: “The city’s gullies are cleaned following a rolling programme and over the last fortnight the most sensitive gullies have been cleared, as part of more than 10,500 gullies cleaned since March. Intense rainfall of the kind experienced on Sunday is extremely rare and exceeds the capacity of roads drainage and sewerage systems, though it is becoming more frequent as weather patterns change.”
The Council has worked over the last 24 hours to clean up surface water and flooding which the extreme rain caused.
Scottish Water are working with council officers, as the water authority is responsible for the maintenance of sewers, checking for blockages and cleaning surface water.
Cllr Lesley Macinnes, Transport and Environment Convener, said: “Our roads and flood prevention teams have worked extremely hard, throughout Sunday and overnight, to minimise the impact of this intense, sudden downpour.
“This was in close partnership with Scottish Water, who are responsible for the city’s sewer system, and I’d like to thank all those involved for their swift response. No city’s drainage systems are designed to cope with the sort of short, sharp volume of water experienced yesterday. As it’s not possible to predict this kind of extreme weather, which is regrettably is becoming more frequent as climate change effects intensify, localised flooding was unfortunately inevitable.
“However, our sympathies are with anyone who has experienced damage to their property as a result of flooding, and officers, along with partners, are working flat out to make sure the aftermath is cleared as quickly as possible.”
Cllr Karen Doran, Transport and Environment Vice Convener, said: “Flash flooding like we experienced yesterday is extremely challenging, but we’ve been doing everything we can to minimise its negative effects across the city, along with Scottish Water.
“We’re now beginning the clean-up, but there’s still significant surface water in some parts of the city, so I would encourage everyone to take extra care if travelling today.”
Information from the Scottish Flood Forum on coping with the aftermath of a flood is available on their website.
Find advice on severe weather on the Council’s website.