A key flood gate that was left open by Perth and Kinross Council has caused massive water damage to several streets and properties in Perth, Scotland. The council has been accused of negligence and incompetence by residents and businesses who suffered from the flooding.
How the flooding happened
The flooding occurred after extremely heavy rainfall hit the region over the weekend. The Met Office had issued a yellow weather warning on Friday and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency had put out a flood alert for Tayside. However, the council did not close a flood gate leading from the North Inch, a large parkland area, onto Rose Terrace, a street near the city centre. As a result, water from the swollen River Tay overflowed into the North Inch and then into Rose Terrace and other nearby streets. Numerous basement properties were flooded and some residents had to be evacuated.
What the council said
The council spokesperson said that they understood how distressing the flooding events were for people and that they were supporting the affected communities and residents. They also said that the rainfall led to a rapid and near unprecedented rise in water levels of the Tay, which made it impossible to close the gate in time. They claimed that the water level reached 4.90 metres on Sunday morning, near the record level of 4.93m recorded 30 years ago.
They said that they would review their response to the incident and speak to residents to hear about their experiences and learn from them. They also thanked the community resilience groups who assisted the residents impacted by flooding.
What the residents and businesses said
The residents and businesses who suffered from the flooding were not satisfied with the council’s explanation and demanded an open inquiry into why the gate was not shut. They said that they had warned the council about the potential flooding risk before, but their concerns were ignored. They also said that they had lost valuable belongings, documents, and equipment due to the water damage. They questioned how the council could have missed such an obvious precautionary measure and how they could have been so unprepared for such a predictable event. They also criticised the council for being slow and ineffective in providing assistance and compensation.
What the experts said
Some experts who analysed the situation said that the council had failed to follow the best practices and protocols for flood management. They said that the council should have monitored the water level more closely and closed the gate as soon as possible. They also said that the council should have installed more flood barriers and pumps in vulnerable areas. They suggested that the council should invest more in flood prevention and mitigation measures, such as improving drainage systems, creating flood storage areas, and raising awareness among residents. They also urged the council to cooperate with other agencies and stakeholders to develop a comprehensive flood risk management plan.
What will happen next
The council is facing a lot of pressure and scrutiny from various parties, including local politicians, media outlets, environmental groups, and legal firms. The council may have to face legal action from some of the affected residents and businesses who are seeking compensation for their losses. The council may also have to face an investigation from an independent body or a parliamentary committee who will examine their actions and decisions during the flooding incident. The council may have to apologise publicly and admit their mistakes. The council may also have to implement some changes and reforms in their flood management policies and practices.