On Monday 6th October the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and the Minister for Environment and Climate Change launched a new coastal Flood Warning service for the Moray Firth.
The Moray Firth was identified by SEPA as a priority area for the development of a new Flood Warning scheme, with many coastal communities affected by flooding in recent years. In December 2012, a storm event caused significant coastal flooding damage to a number of communities. Communities along the Moray Firth coastline were again affected by coastal flooding in December 2013.
Seventeen new Flood Warning Areas have been introduced to help vulnerable communities at risk of flooding along the Moray Firth coastline from Wick in the Highlands to Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire. More than 9,000 homes and businesses could now benefit from Flood Warnings. Signing up for free, advance notice of flooding is free and information is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The new flood forecasting model was developed by JBA consulting on behalf of SEPA. The warning locations have been developed and agreed in partnership with the Highland, Moray and Aberdeenshire Councils, who also contributed to the funding of this new coastal model.
The model will operate based on forecast surge levels, tidal predictions and information on wind conditions provided by the Met Office. The model will operate within the Flood Early Warning System (FEWS). The model will be used to predict sea levels and wave conditions along the Moray Firth coastline, and this information will be used by Flood Warning Duty Officers to issue Flood Warnings, and to provide information to partner organisations.