Last week, TV weatherman Sean Batty was enlisted by SEPA to sit on a sofa on Portobello beach in order to give us an interesting photo that’s presumably supposed to illustrate what could happen to you and your living room if you live in a high flood risk area and fail to sign-up for a newly launched telephone warning system.
The new free flood warning services provides coastal flooding alerts to tailored to people who live in Granton, Leith and Portobello – as people in the more low lying areas of these neighbourhoods have been identified as one of 28 flood risk areas along the east coast of Scotland.
In Leith, this largely means people who live around the Shore who, according to the official SEPA flood risk map, have to live under the threat of both coastal flooding AND flooding from the Water of Leith. Other local areas the map identifies as potentially at risk of coastal flooding include parts of Western Harbour, Ocean Terminal and the east end of Leith Links.
Once you’ve signed up to the service, SEPA will have the ability to send you a flood warning to your telephone. It’s hoped that if the worst happens – this will give you more chance to reduce the damage any flood might cause.
Environment Convener at City of Edinburgh Council, Councillor Lesley Hinds, said on the day of the launch that she thought it was a good idea, adding: “I would encourage people in areas of the city such as Granton, Leith and Portobello to take advantage of this new service and sign up for advance messages from Floodline.”
Sean Batty said: “Coastal flooding in Scotland can be caused by storms and tidal surges. As a result, homes, businesses and lives can be devastated in a matter of minutes.
“An advance warning service like Floodline makes sure that people living in at-risk areas have as much preparation time as possible.”
To minimise your chances of ending up like Sean Batty, you can sign up to receive flood warning messages at www.sepa.org.uk/floodingsignup or by calling 0845 988 1188.