HOMES were evacuated and several families had to be rehomed as flooding hit Jedburgh town centre on Sunday following torrential rain across south-west Scotland.
Jedburgh high street resembled a river bed after flash flooding caused the nearby Skiprunning burn to burst its banks and water to pour into the town centre.
Homes and businesses were affected as Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue sent in pumps to try to clear up the damage. It took around six hours to clear the town centre, which was finally reopened around 3pm.
Weather chaos extended throughout the south west of Scotland, Lothian and Borders and Strathclyde during the day as heavy rain relentlessly battered the area.
The Met Office issued amber “be prepared” warnings of slow-moving heavy showers.
the rest of Scotland also experienced heavy rains with yellow “be aware” warnings issued for the Highlands, Western Isles, Central Scotland, Tayside and Fife.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) issued 13 flood alerts across Scotland.
Roads, including one lane of the M8 Westbound at Charing Cross, were closed across central and southern Scotland. Surface water made travel difficult around Lothian and Borders, while the A699 Keslos to St Boswells was closed in both directions, as well as roads around Jedburgh.
As two-foot of water flooded Jedburgh High Street around 8am on Sunday morning,a multi-agency emergency bunker was convened at Scottish Borders Headquarters to assess the ongoing situation.
All roads, environmental services and street sweeping staff were called into work to assist in the response.
As the day went on, a clean-up operation got underway with the council and local people pitching to clear up mud, silt and debris from homes and businesses.
Two homes were deemed uninhabitable and the families have been temporarily rehoused.
Local shop owner Bill Hislop, who runs Hislop Floor Coverings on Jedburgh High Street, said he got a call around 8am on Sunday morning from a former employee.
“She tried to look at the damage to the shop but couldn’t get across the road because of two feet of water.
“I arrived about 9am and it was pretty bad, I couldn’t believe it. Luckily, my shop’s not that bad, the water’s been seeping in through the wall from the solicitor’s next door and my carpet’s wet but I’ve not got the mud and silt that others have.
“I’m helping the solicitor next door, whose been less lucky. We’ve been lifting out furniture and taking up the flooring so that we can clean it out.”
Mr Hislop said that while he would be able to open his shop again on MOnday many other shops were unlikely to do so. Around 20 businesses have been affected, including the local hairdresser, the Sue Ryder charity shop, a television ship and a grocer’s store.
“Everybody’s just getting on with it,” said Mr Hislop. “There’s nothing else we can do.”
Heavy rain was expected to continue in the Borders until around 3am this morning, with 30 to 50mm expected to fall across the Borders and 70mm in Jedburgh.
Nigel Goody, duty hydrology manager at SEPA, said: “Scotland has been experiencing slow-moving, heavy, thundery sowers in Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders, and there is the potential for further local problems caused by surface water and small watercourses, depending where more rain falls.
“Sepa is continuing to monitor all river levels and will issue further flood messages if appropriate.”
Dumfries and Lockerbie Agricultural Show was also one of the casualties of the weather over the weekend as heavy rain and storms hit in the
middle of the prize giving on Saturday afternoon with hundreds of cattle, horses and sheep on the showfield the storm struck.
Stalls were flooded and the main show field was awash, causing the abandonment of the grand parade of livestock as lightning hit the ground along with a gale and hailstones.
Car parking areas were inundated by the floodwaters and many were stuck for hours. Tractors had to tow vehicles out and some had to remain overnight.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 21 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: North west