Rain Forecast As Minister Visits Flood Hit Borders

Flood-hit communities in southern Scotland have been warned to expect further disruption from more rain.

Scottish environment minister Aileen McLeod visited the Borders town of Hawick, where 100 homes had to be evacuated at the weekend as Storm Desmond hit, causing the River Teviot to burst its banks.

She said the community spirit displayed in Hawick was one that "all of Scotland can be proud of''.

But with the potential for more wet weather in the coming days, she said there could be more disruption to transport and services.

Hawick does not currently have a flood prevention scheme in place, although it is next in line in the Scottish Borders for such work to be carried out.

Council leaders are currently developing more details on their preferred scheme before looking for feedback from the local community.

Over the last seven years £42 million of Scottish Government cash has helped councils across the country improve flood protection, with work being funded in Forres, Galashiels, Inverness, Selkirk, Brechin, Almondbank and Greenock.

Ms McLeod said it was "important we recognise the impact of our significant investment in protecting people's homes and livelihoods from such extreme conditions''.

She added: "All of Scotland's existing flood defences worked over the weekend. This justifies the Scottish Government's commitment to continue investing in flood defences.''

The Holyrood minister thanked all those in the emergency services who "have been working round the clock to help those most in need''.

She continued: "I also want to pay tribute to the many volunteers who by offering food, transport and support to their neighbours showed a community spirit that all of Scotland can be proud of.

"With further rainfall forecast over the coming days, we expect traffic and services to remain disrupted.

"The Scottish Government will continue to work closely with Sepa and Transport Scotland to monitor the latest updates so that we ensure our local authorities and the emergency services get the support that they need.''

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