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NATIONAL FLOODLINE COMES ON STREAM

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A national Floodline for Scotland has been launched at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency's newly-built com...
A national Floodline for Scotland has been launched at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency's newly-built communication control centre in Perth.

Environment and rural development minister Ross Finnie said that everyone in Scotland could get information about the threat of flooding in their community with a single phone call.

'The executive - working in partnership with SEPA - has invested£2m in this major initiative to ensure that the people of Scotland are better informed about the risk of flooding to their homes and businesses,' he said.

'I know that the danger of flooding is distressing to those who live in flood prone areas. The Scottish Floodline service will be available 24 hours a day every day, giving information about potential flooding and reassurance when flooding is unlikely.

'As well as providing recorded information on current flood risks for local areas, Floodline will allow people to speak directly to a SEPA duty officer for advice and guidance.'

The Floodline number is 0845 988 1188.

The concept of a Floodline was first developed in England and Wales by the Environment Agency and is a proven system for announcing flood warnings.

SEPA has used the£2m funding to provide equipment and staff resources at its new communications centre in Perth to act as a Scottish base to organise incoming data and pass on flood warning information. The centre will operate 24 hours a day throughout the year. While initially focused on flooding it can also be used by SEPA in any major environmental incident requiring a co-ordinating centre.

Where there is a flooding risk in any area SEPA will issue a Flood Watch alert. In addition, where SEPA operates local flood warning schemes in partnership with the police and local authorities a rising scale of flood alerts - Flood Warning and Severe Flood Warning - will apply.

SEPA has permissive powers to operate flood warning systems, and presently operates 42 systems. Most were instituted by the former river purification boards, under the Agriculture Act 1970, however, SEPA will consider formal requests from local authorities, the police or MSPs for the provision of further systems. A copy of SEPA's policy on flood warning is available on their website.

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