Over the past few months the council has been working with SEPA and Scottish Water to explore sensible, practical engineering, maintenance and management measures that can be taken to provide some protection against the effects of occasional flooding in Campbeltown.
New technology has been installed at culvert entrances to provide the roads team with information on both rainfall and the intake levels under the road. When these reach a pre-set trigger text alarms are sent to key staff and they will respond accordingly.
On a regular basis, as is current practice, staff will be maintaining the surface water system – work such as checking and clearing culvert grilles and jetwashing gullies – and ensuring that it is operating as it should.
Going forward options for pumping and road realignment will be explored. The pumping solution could involve the installation of temporary or permanent pipework and a pump to remove floodwater from Saddell Street and John Street onto the esplanade. A survey will also be carried out by roads engineers to see whether a change to the kerb levels in these streets, the lowest point in the town, would help to divert water away from properties.
While the council will be moving forward with this work in the short term, in the longer term it will be looking into the possibility of accessing national government funding for a more robust flood prevention scheme. Giving shrinking public sector budgets it is simply not practical for the local authority to spend millions of pounds on flood-proofing Campbeltown. The measures being put in place will help to provide some protection but they will not stop flooding.
Ultimately, the responsibility for the maintenance of a property lies with the owner, which is why the council has been working very closely with the Scottish Flood Forum over the past few months to provide people with useful, practical advice on how to protect their homes.
A series of property flood protection exhibitions are being held throughout February to show people what can be done to stop flood water entering their property, with the successful event in Campbeltown having already taken place.
This exhibition brought together a number of products such as airbrick covers, toilet bungs and door barriers for people to handle and gave them the opportunity to access the professional expertise of both the council and the forum.
Chair of the Mid-Argyll, Kintyre and the Islands Area Committee, South Kintyre Councillor Rory Colville said of the council’s work on flooding: ‘’We all know flooding is a problem from time to time in Campbeltown and we are doing all that we can do at this stage. We’re moving forward, in partnership with SEPA and Scottish Water, with engineering and management arrangements which will reduce the effects of flooding, but won’t stop it.
‘’We as a council will be pushing for government funding to tackle this problem and provide the people of Campbeltown with a long-term flood-proofing measures.
‘’There is a lot people can do for themselves, cheaply and easily, to protect their homes. I would advise anyone to contact Paul Hendy from the Scottish Flood Forum or the council’s own roads department who will be happy to offer advice and support.’’
Paul Hendy can be reached on 07747702299 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The council’s roads department can be reached on 01546 605514