Flash floods hit Edinburgh

Earlier this month many areas of Edinburgh were hit by flash flooding during heavy downpours and thunderstorms.

The areas of Morningside, Colinton and Oxgangs were the worst affected as a quarter of the average rainfall for July fell in just three hours leaving drains overwhelmed and homes, businesses and cars flooded.

As the water level subsides and people begin the clearing up exercise, questions have to be asked about whether drainage in the affected areas us up to the job, particularly considering previous flood events and future extreme weather caused by climate change. I have written to the City of Edinburgh Council and Scottish Water to ask for an explanation of why these drains failed so badly and to find out what action they will be taking to investigate and rectify the situation.

I was also concerned to hear that the Braid Burn burst its banks during the downpour.  Flood prevention works were recently completed on the Burn and I am keen to find out from the Council whether they were effective in this instance and what planning may be needed for future flood events.

Fortunately, flooding was not an issue around the Water of Leith although this incident is a stark reminder of the impact of flooding in our communities not just in terms of damage to properties but also in terms of securing insurance for possessions.

People living in areas at risk of flooding are facing real difficulties getting insurance cover for their home contents despite assurances from the Council and the Scottish Government that they have engaged with the insurance industry.

Residents are being forced to accept massive hikes in their premiums and are unable to seek better deals from alternative providers due to the current flood risk to their home.  The only alternative open to some people is to not insure their possessions against damage.

It is unacceptable that people living in flood risk areas are effectively being denied competitive insurance cover while delays continue on flood prevention works at the Water of Leith.

I am seeking clarification from the Council and the Scottish Government over what discussions they have had with insurers to ensure that homes and businesses are protected as a matter of urgency.