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Fears that drains in Moray are unable to cope with storm surges – even if they are cleared regularly

Victoria Road in Elgin was left under water during recent heavy rain.
Victoria Road in Elgin was left under water during recent heavy rain.

Flash flooding in Moray’s biggest town has sparked concerns the local drainage system is unable to cope with downpours – even if they are cleaned regularly.

Businesses on Elgin’s High Street were forced to deploy sandbags twice last week while Maisondieu Road, Seafield Crescent and Victoria Road were also left under water.

Torrential rain caused similar problems on Monday as the ageing sewer system proved unable to cope with the volume of water.

Yesterday, Moray MP Douglas Ross and Elgin City North councillor Frank Brown called for action from the council and Scottish Water to ease concerns.

Meanwhile, residents on Victoria Road revealed the sight of the rising water on the street brought back memories of devastating floods from 2002.

One local, who was displaced from her home at the time for more than a year, said: “It was terrifying to watch the water running down the street.

“At one point, it was running so fast there were ripples in it like a stream.

“The drains just couldn’t cope with the amount of water that was coming down. They’re not cleaned nearly enough now, not with all the cutbacks.”


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It is understood that drains being overwhelmed in Maisondieu Road and Seafield Crescent forced the water to Victoria Road, where it gathered.

Mr Ross has been told by Scottish Water that the size of the downpour, which caused landslips elsewhere in the region, would have made it impossible to cope with the volume of water even if drains were cleared.

The MP added: “I have received responses which state that the infrastructure isn’t equipped to cope with such unprecedented levels of rainfall, such as the deluge we have witnessed in recent days.

“Residents want to know if drains can be cleared to at least allow as much rain water as possible to escape and help keep the streets from flooding.

“This is a problem that has been ongoing for some time and people want to see some action before properties are inundated.”

Mr Brown said: “This situation has been ongoing for years and happens every time there is prolonged or torrential rainfall. A solution needs to be found.”

Yesterday a spokeswoman for Scottish Water explained that intense rain storms have proved a “significant challenge” across the country and they were working with councils to develop solutions.

She added: “During severe weather events such as these, drains and watercourses may temporarily be unable to cope with the amount of surface water from buildings, footpaths and roadways.

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