Argyll and Bute Council is undertaking a flood study in Oban based on mitigating flooding up to a one in 200 year return period flood event.
Two consultation events have now been held in Oban. The most recent, on 30 January, enabled local residents and businesses to share their experiences. Other key stakeholders involved in the study include SEPA, Scottish Water, Community Councils and local interest groups.
As of January 2019 the data analysis and baseline modelling of coastal, river and rainfall elements is substantially complete. Surface water management options for urban areas are also progressing and joint working will be done in the future with Scottish Water to understand the underground drainage and combined sewer network.
The flood study provides the most financially viable avenue to assess and address flood risk in Oban in the long term. Solutions identified in the flood study may be awarded an 80% Scottish Government grant. All councils across Scotland will be bidding for a share of this funding, which is available from 2022.
Councillor Roddy McCuish, Policy Lead for Roads and Amenity Services, said: “Thanks to everyone who came along to the consultation events and shared their experiences with us. The event benefited from the presence of the Scottish Flood Forum. This is a fantastic organisations that provides information about self-help, property level protection and resilience measures that individuals can consider.
“The truth is, there is no quick fix to the situation. It will take a number of agencies and significant investment to solve the problem. Even then, sometimes the elements simply conspire against us, as we saw back in October.”
The flooding experienced between 7 and 9 October 2018, when in three days a total of 440mm of rainfall was recorded by SEPA gauges closest to Oban, is considered to be a one in 70 year event.
Flooding mostly affected the Lochavullin area of the town which is particularly low lying and susceptible to the effects of coastal water levels as well as rainfall and surface water. It has a pumped system in place to reduce the risk of flooding in the car park, which lies below flood water levels of the Black Lynn Burn. At the time of the October flood, rapidly rising water cause the electrics in the pump to fail.
Since then, interim works to mitigate flood risk in the short term have taken place. The existing pumps and cabinet in Lochavullin car park have been serviced or renewed as needed. Temporary flood barriers have been installed along a short stretch of the Black Lynn Burn and some of the drainage/combined sewer pipes in the area will be cleaned and CCTV checked.
Useful information on protecting your home from flooding can be found on the council website at: http://bit.ly/Flood_Advice