Monday, March 03, 2014

Flooding and flood prevention.

On the agenda at the combined meeting of the West and Suburban Community Councils last week was the subject of flooding and flood prevention. 

Rosemary Young told the meeting: “I put this on because I walked down into our little patch just along here and the whole path had been covered in stones, not big stones, little stone, masses of them after the flood but I must say I had a very good result. I rang up Liz Cowie and she was very pleased I let her know and I think it’s been done. So if anyone has got anything they feel pretty strongly about on flood defences, I mean it is pretty topical at the moment isn’t it? We’ve come off quite likely I feel.”

Murd Dunbar, from the public benches was of the opinion that the Fishertown area was more likely to be flooded with sewage rather than flood water and he suggested that sewage should have been on the agenda. 

Rosemary responded by saying that they had covered the sewage earlier. 

Murd then suggested that any potential threat to the Fishertown area would be “easily remedied” by taking “a bit off the bank at the other side” thus allowing the water to go the way it went before.  

Rosemary said: “Murd you are so radical.”

Graham Kerr then said: “I think we have a right to ask Highland Council to put their engineering expertise onto something giving us coastal protection. They can say they’ve got no money to do anything but surely they’ve got experts sitting in there who could…”

Rosemary intervened at this point: “But are we getting flooded from the sea, we’re not are we?”

“The Golf Course is flooded every year,” replied Graham. 

Alastair Noble then said: “Certainly Fishertown is very, very close to flooding.”

After the meeting Murd indicated to the Gurn that he was less than impressed with the response to his comments, he reminded this observer of this image of the 1956 flood on the River Nairn and suggested that that image shows that allowing the Maggot to flood could possible save the Fishertown from being submerged in the future. 


walk on water said...

Flood risk is on everyone's mind after the events of this winter.

Nairn residents will have noticed that major flood prevention schemes are already well under way in Inverness, in Forres and in Elgin.... while no such schemes are in prospect for Nairn, despite the evidence of Fishertown's vulnerability.

Online research reveals some interesting information. SEPA has produced "Flood Risk Management Maps" - see - which show the areas that are vulnerable to flooding.

The SEPA website pages on Flood Risk Management also describe the responsibilities of local councils, Scottish Water, SEPA and others and refer to a document on Flood Risk Management Planning Arrangements 2014-16.

This paper describes what the authorities should be doing and what should be in the plans. It explains that flood risk management is organised on the basis of Local Plan Districts, which do not correspond to local authority boundaries.

The really interesting point is that the map of Local Plan Districts shows that Nairn lies on the boundary between the "Highland District" and the "Findhorn Nairn and Speyside District". The actual boundary runs roughly along Balblair Road. So flood risk planning for the area west of that road is the task of Highland; and planning for the area east of Balblair Road (which means the River Nairn itself) is the responsibility of the "Findhorn Nairn and Speyside" district!

This might have some logic in terms of geography. But who exactly is drawing up the flood risk prevention plans for the Nairn area? Officials in Inverness? Or people in Moray? Or both? At the moment there is little evidence that anything is being done by either. The Highland Council website refers only to the River Ness schemes, and the Moray Council website to the Elgin and Forres projects.

Preparatory work and prioritisation for flood-plans is supposed to be done during 2013-14 by the "lead local authority" in each district, with public consultation at the end of 2014 and a finalised plan for each District in place by 2015-16.

Let's hope we don't get too many high tides or heavy rainstorms between now and 2016. But meanwhile since Nairn seems to be split between two Local Plan Districts for flood-planning, perhaps our local Councillors should be asking who exactly is responsible for drawing up the flood prevention plans for Nairn.


Let the photographs speak for themselves.
I can find no proof of homes being flooded at this time. I repeat what I said let the golf course be flooded No big engineering feat to do that to me just common sense. Rosemary may think it radical. I will have wait for there solution as no other was given at the time.
{ “The Golf Course is flooded every year,” replied Graham. } What A shame but Fisher town is flooded on a regular basis with sewage but then again they don't live there.

Anonymous said...

Time to dredge out the river bed and let the water through to the sea. I am afraid Swan Island must go too so this may annoy some people...

Graisg said...

Dredging? Murd made a further point at the meeting about this concept - he feels that there are simply many thousands of tons of gravel etc perpetually on its way down the river and you could scoop out as much as you like only to see it very quickly fill up.

Anonymous said...

Dredging in the lower river worked for about a year which is what you'd expect as winter storms put the river into spate. Stating that there's no point dredging because the river bed fills up again is non sensical. Dredging needs to be carried out on a regular basis.
As has been hinted at the river should be kept as wide as possible. This includes removing the bank near the old gas works
I doubt we will ever get a flood plain back which is what we really need

Anonymous said...

I watched a television documentary about so called warming.. The main concern seems to be sea levels, rather than river levels, not much can be done about sea levels, it also said that by around 2050 most low lying coastal areas will be flooded. Let's hope the boffins are wrong, and there is no such thing as global warming, or we ll be ~ 'up the creek without a paddle'.
Maybe not much interest to many here but if the sea level rises by a very small amount, Calcutta would be gone.
If that happens it will have huge consequences for the future generations. People world wide would have to move inland.

Anonymous said...

Walk on Water:
For the Findhorn, Nairn and Speyside District – the Moray Council is designated as the Lead Local Authority (LLA) and works in partnership with The Highland Council, SEPA and Scottish Water.
Hope that clarifies things.

walk on water said...

Murd is right to draw attention to the problem. He and many other individuals living in Nairn evidently have personal views and bright ideas about how to deal with the flood risk in Nairn.

But often these seem to be on the lines of "Don't flood my backyard, flood someone else's", or "Don't flood the Fishertown, flood the golfcourse".

Pass-the-parcel is no way to deal with a large-scale problem that affects the whole area.

That's why the local and regional contingency planning is fundamental. It is astonishing that there are no plans already in place for Nairn. That is why it is so important to clarify which local authorities are actually responsible, and what SEPA and others are currently doing to pproduce a systematic plan.

It would be more useful to focus attention on that, rather than arguing about whether dredging the river, or hacking holes in the riverbank and turning the Maggot into a soakaway, are magic solutions.


It's going to be some flood if it gets to my backyard I live a mile from the sea up two hills in A place called shanghai if your a local. But that will not stop me from showing concern I am concerned about sewerage flooding people's Homes. Than getting a boat into the Harbour or playing golf. I referred to millions of tons of material waiting to move in. By the way I have worked on A dredger and one would be there for a long time if not permanent and be unable to get any further than the bridge.So can't see where passing the parcel or water for that matter comes into it as of yet no one has put there name to opposing flooding the G.C.That's my cards on the table.I have said what i think is the remedy and makes me wonder what walking on water or any one else would do to prevent flooding. At the moment the river can handle the risk of flood but the drains cant handle what comes down them.

Anonymous said...

Seems as though dredging is a waste of time then if the material they remove just returns. I wonder why they are used if they are not effective?

Graisg said...

@Anon 23.31 Sounds very interesting, do you know who I could contact for further info/confirmation. You could e-mail if you wish.