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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 February 2008, 15:15 GMT
Wee County reels from flooding impact
Jo Perry
BBC Scotland news website

Flooding on the Black Isle in October 2006
The floods caused thousands of pounds worth of damage

Plans by the Scottish Government to upgrade flood defences across the country are coming too late for many.

Across Scotland last month swollen rivers and inundated drainage systems caused water to rush through homes and businesses as torrential rain swept much of Scotland.

In Clackmannanshire, the River Devon burst its banks releasing a torrent of water which completely covered parts of the Wee County.

Not since 1959 had the river's levels reached such a height after 182mm of rain fell in just three days and melting snow caused tonnes of water to run from the Ochil hills into the river.

Firefighters from Central Scotland Fire and Rescue Service were drafted in to rescue people who had become trapped in their homes by the water.

Worst affected were residents in Elistoun Drive and Kirktoun Gardens in Tillicoultry, where the river ploughed its way through homes causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Alleviating pressure

Fire crews were also involved in the rescue of a bus driver and passenger after the strong currents swept a bus from the road at the entrance to Marchglen.

The issue has prompted Clackmannanshire Council to host a public meeting, planned for next Thursday in Tillicoultry's community centre.

Only last month we knocked back an application from a developer who wanted to build houses next to the Devon and add some banking.
Cllr Bobby McGill

All those who live within the River Devon's catchment area have been invited to attend.

At the event local authority officers plan to explain their water management activities and the flood prevention measures they will take in future.

Representatives from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa), Scottish Water, Waterwatch Scotland and Tillicoultry Community Council have also been invited.

The local authority are currently involved with Scottish Water in a project aimed at alleviating pressure on the outdated sewage system in the area.

The company is spending 864,000 to replace Victorian piping but they admit the work, which is due for completion in Spring next year, would not have prevented the flooding seen last month.

Local councillor Bobby McGill, whose ward Clackmannanshire North was the worst affected by the flood waters, said resolving the problem was not a black and white issue.

He said: "The areas in Tillicoultry affected had never seen anything like this before.

"We all know about global warming and we have to watch that events like this do not become the norm.

"It is also very important for councils to watch where they are putting housing. Only last month we knocked back an application from a developer who wanted to build houses next to the Devon and add some banking.

"Builders and councils have to think more about these type of things."

Rainfall intensity

Conservation groups in Scotland are calling for a modern approach to flood prevention that takes into account the natural flow of rivers.

The UK Climate Impacts Programme briefing concludes that winters are set to get wetter, with increases in rainfall intensity and frequency, while summers may become drier.

On its website, WWF Scotland said a medium climate change scenario predicts that a one in 100 chance of flooding in any year is expected to become a one in 70 chance flood by the 2020s.

The possibility could change again to a one in 40 to 60 chance of flood by the 2080s.

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