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Flood defences in Dundee rendered useless after gates left open during Storm Ciara

A multi-million pound flood defence in Dundee was rendered useless after gates were left open at the weekend.

The weekend deluge brought on as Storm Ciara battered the UK left a section of Riverside Drive underwater.

Its near-Ā£7 million flood defence scheme was meant to provide a “one-in-200-year standard of protection”.

Parked cars near the Bridgeview Station Restaurant were partially submerged and passing cars on Riverside Drive had to battle against water crashing onto the road.

The stretch between the Tay Rail Bridge and the restaurant was worst affected.

Video of the flooding is above this article

Dundee and Angus braced for more sea flooding as city council probes ‘concerning’ Riverside Drive incident

A series of gates allow access to the footpath along the river but when closed, act as a barrier to high tides in the Tay.

The Met Office issued a yellow warning for heavy rain and strong winds for the whole of Scotland before the weekend.

There is no suggestion the flood protection would have failed if the gates had been closed.


Dundee City Council is investigating after admitting there are “opportunities to improve protocols” for when the gates are closed.

The gates west of the Tay Rail Bridge were closed on February 10, the day after the worst of the flooding.

Further work to extend the flood barriers infrastructure from Bridgeview Station Restaurant to Dundee Airport is due to begin this month.

Councillor ‘inundated’ with complaints

West End councillor Fraser Macpherson said he was “inundated” with residents getting in touch after seeing the flooding and contacted the council’s design and property department to determine what went wrong.

He said: “It was very concerning and significant flooding.

“I have been in touch with the head of the relevant department for feedback.

“They are confident the flood protection is working but the issue is about risk assessment and timing on when the gate is used.

“We need to be sure the very substantial amount of money spent on the flood protections are actually put to use when needed. We can’t have a repetition of this.

“It’s been a long time since I have had so many constituents contact me in one afternoon.”

Councillor Richard McCready, who also represents the West End, said: “The council believes the flood prevention scheme is working. Many people who saw the flooding will be a little surprised to hear this.

“I want officers to have a good look at this and make sure they are using this expensive piece of infrastructure correctly.

“I think is is also important the council makes clear to the public what they should expect from the new flood prevention scheme.

“I hope any lessons that need to be learnt are learnt before there are any more potential floods.”

A Dundee City Council spokeswoman said: “Council staff were out over the weekend and there are opportunities to improve protocols for assessing risk and timing for when the flood gates are used at Riverside.

“The incident will be reviewed to find out which procedures have worked and where improvements can be made.”

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