OLECG, the Orkney Local Emergency Co-ordination Group, met today in response to forecasts of serious flooding throughout the county.
Kirkwall’s harbour front flood gates will be put in place today in response to latest weather forecasts.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has issued Flood Warnings for Orkney and the outlying Islands. Full details here.
Inspector David Hall, Police Scotland, who chaired the meeting, said: “Serious coastal flooding is forecast for many areas of Orkney.”
Sandbags are being made available for collection from pallets placed at Cromarty Square in the Hope, St Mary’s (outside the Post Office and at the corner at the Loch or Ayre), Burray village (carpark at the old school) and along Victoria Street in Stromness. Sandbags will also be available in the Isles at the depots. If stocks run out, please contact the Council on 01856876338.
The Council would like to remind the public that if it has placed sandbags for flood prevention purposes please do not remove them.
He added: “In Kirkwall, drivers who use the Waterfront West-Shapinsay Slip carpark and Kirkwall Harbour are asked to move vehicles as soon as possible. Vehicles will be unable to leave this area once flood gates are fully deployed."
The flood defence scheme is designed to protect low lying parts of Kirkwall against flooding from the sea.
The main gates at the Waterfront West-Shapinsay Slip and Kirkwall Harbour entrance will be closed as late as possible to allow vehicles to move in and out.
The Council has also deployed temporary flood prevention equipment at Cromarty Square in St Margaret’s Hope.
SEPA advises that the highest risk of flooding will be over the next 72 hours. There may also be a risk of wave overtopping at high tides.
Inspector Hall added: “With strong winds, there is always the possibility that some homes may be affected by a loss of power. In those circumstances, we would ask friends, family and neighbours to keep an eye on people who may be experiencing problems as a result. If anyone has any concerns, they should contact Police Scotland on 101.
“We would ask that people ensure that anything that could be blown about is safely stowed away or tied down – strips of plastic or polythene, for instance, can cause power cuts if they get wrapped around power lines.” If anyone experiences a loss of power they should contact Scottish and Southern Energy on 105.
OLECG will meet again on Saturday afternoon and will issue an update thereafter.