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UK & World

SEPA introduces early flood warning scheme

March 24 2011

Thousands of homes across Tayside and Fife have been assessed as at risk of flooding by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). New flood warning areas have been established in a bid to encourage households and businesses to better prepare for the worst. In Perth and Kinross, the agency has highlighted some 6599 at risk properties, while in Angus the warning affects a further 1172. SEPA released the figures as it launched a new state-of-the-art service that will provide the earliest possible warning for residents living in communities at threat. The Scotland-wide floodline direct warning service aims to give residents in warning areas valuable time to take action and protect their families, homes and businesses. Its launch comes after communities in and around Perth experienced some of the worst flooding in years. Perth has long been exposed to the problem of flooding, with the events of January 1993 likely to live long in residents' memories. There was widespread devastation of the town's North Muirton area as more than 850 homes were seriously flooded and 300 households left languishing in temporary accommodation for up to 10 months. The Kinross-shire town of Milnathort has been repeatedly hit by flooding in recent years, with residents and businesses forced to pick up the pieces time and time again. Town centre businesses and homes in Perth suffered in July last year, while the Fairfield housing estate was virtually cut off for several hours and a "river of water" greeted fire-fighters attending at Feus Road. Bridge of Earn was hit hard in January as snowfall, storms and heavy rain all battered the area, causing the River Earn to burst its banks. Environment and climate change minister Roseanna Cunningham described it as an "essential tool," and urged people to sign up for the free warnings, which will be sent to registered mobile phones and landlines. Funding from the Scottish Government has enabled SEPA to provide the new direct warning service, which has been hailed as a significant improvement to the existing Floodline. Previously the public relied on hearing about flooding through the media, by word of mouth, through local services or by contacting SEPA's 24-hour recorded telephone service. Now anyone living in Perthshire including those who live in, work or travel through areas at risk of flooding can sign up to the new service and receive details on the likelihood and timing of any potential flooding threat. This ensures everyone can get the benefit of SEPA's extensive flood forecasting expertise and monitoring networks. Professor James Curran, SEPA's director of science and strategy, said the improvements made to Floodline represented a huge step forward in terms of flood warning for Scotland. "Making it easier for people to help themselves is a key part to this," he said. "Signing-up to Floodline's direct warning service can be done online, by phone or by filling-in a registration form. "In fact, we're sending thousands of these directly to properties in flood warning areas. "Residents should look out for these valuable envelopes, use their contents and if they receive a flood warning message take action." Ms Cunningham added, "The Floodline direct warning service is a quick and up to date way of making sure that communities know about the risk of flooding in their area as soon as possible, giving them more time to prepare and protect themselves. "I want as many people as possible to sign up to this free service and improve their resilience to flooding. "This is not just about homes as the benefits apply equally to businesses and we have recently seen that they can be disrupted by flooding, too." Tayside and Angus residents can sign up now to the new Floodline direct warning service by visiting www.floodlinescotland.org.uk/signup.

Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...

Perth & Kinross

IN FULL: All the areas of Tayside affected by flood warnings as rivers and burns surge

January 24 2018

Locals across Tayside have been told to expect a deluge today as river levels surge as a result of heavy rain and snow melt. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has issued a flood alert for the region along with nine individual warnings across Perthshire. Streets have already flooded in Bankfoot after a local burn burst its banks, with Nicoll Drive among those affected. https://twitter.com/ScottishEPA/status/956124278503636992 Flood warnings have been issued for the following areas: The Upper Tay Innerpeffray to Bridge of Earn Logierait to Victoria Bridge Glen Lyon Crieff to Innerpeffray Carse of Lennoch to Lochlane Bridge of Ruthven to Leitfie Ballinluig to Logierait Almondbank It comes as Scotland is battered by gusts of up to 90mph as Storm Georgine moves in, with a Met Office yellow warning for wind in place in Tayside. Bridges and roads across Courier Country have been affected by the stormy conditions. A Sepa statment said: "River levels have responded to rainfall and snow melt during Tuesday and may remain high overnight and into Wednesday. "Further heavy rain is expected from the early hours of Wednesday morning and this may cause some isolated river and surface water flooding issues throughout the region, but particularly in western areas of Tayside, with flooding of low lying land and roads possible. "Remain vigilant and remember, it is your responsibility to take actions which help protect yourself and your property.  Advice and information is also available through Floodline on 0345 9881188. "This flood alert is now in force until further notice and was sent by phone and sms free of charge to registered customers of our Floodline direct warning service.  If you haven't already signed up to receive free flood messages, please call Floodline or register online at sepa.org.uk/floodingsignup."

Angus & The Mearns

Roadshow brings flood warning hotline to Arbroath

April 15 2011

A Floodline roadshow for at-risk Angus residents arrived in Arbroath, giving people living in communities threatened by river or coastal flooding the chance to register for advance flood warnings. The new Scotland-wide Floodline direct warning service gives the 1172 at-risk residents living in Dundee and Angus valuable time to take action and protect their families, homes and businesses. Residents took the chance to find out more and register at the Abbeygate Shopping Centre. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) which developed and runs the new service urged people to sign up on the day for the free warnings, which will be sent to registered mobile phones and landlines. Everyone who visited the stand was also entered into a prize draw for a Smartphone. Previously the Scottish public relied on hearing about flooding through the media, by word of mouth, through local services or by contacting SEPA's 24-hour recorded telephone service. The new direct warning service is a significant improvement and now anyone living in Dundee and Angus including those who live in, work or travel through areas at risk of flooding can sign up to the new service and receive details on the likelihood and timing of any potential flooding threat. This ensures everyone can get the benefit of SEPA's extensive flood forecasting expertise and monitoring networks.Sign up by visiting www.floodlinescotland.org.uk/signup or by calling 0845 988 1188Floodline operates 24 hours a day as a reliable source of information on river and coastal flood risk. It is also a source of advice and information to help minimise the effect flooding can have on homes, businesses and people. SEPA has been working with local authorities to analyse historic flooding information and to review the alarm levels for local monitoring stations on rivers and coastal areas across Scotland, to ensure that they can accurately predict the timing and location of local flooding. This has resulted in the creation of over 200 smaller flood warning areas.

Sponsored

Sponsored: Scots urged to register with free service to reduce flood risk

March 15 2018

Environmental experts are urging people across Scotland to prepare for flooding by using a free flood warning service. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is calling for Scots to sign up to Floodline to help reduce the impacts of flooding. SEPA’s Floodline service provides free, local flooding information by phone or text, helping you prepare for, and cope with, the impacts of flooding. “Flooding can happen at any time in Scotland, and more and more, we are witnessing the devastation that it can cause in our communities. This is likely to continue with climate change, with projections of more intense rainfall, rising sea levels and stormier weather.” said Stewart Prodger from SEPA’s Flood Unit. To reduce the likelihood of flooding, it’s important to understand how flooding can affect you. It’s natural to concentrate on how flooding might affect your home or business, but how about the rest of your life? It can also affect your local roads, community facilities and those you care for. “You are the first line of defence against flooding. Being prepared by knowing what to do and who to contact if flooding happens, can help you reduce the damage and disruption flooding can have on your life,” said Stewart. Anyone can register for Floodline to receive free, local warnings directly to their phone. This advance notice gives those affected extra time to prepare for, respond to and protect themselves against flooding. Janette Tait, owner of Cinnamon Café in Newton Stewart, suffered material and financial loss to her business due to flooding in December 2015. “My family worked so hard to get sandbags out, but it was all a bit futile by then.  Had we had warning the night before it might have been a bit better.” Mrs Tait has since signed up to receive free flood warnings from SEPA’s Floodline service. “I now feel much more reassured that if flooding happens again, Floodline’s advance warnings will help me to be better prepared. I have also encouraged other local business owners to sign up to the service,” she said. Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham has also urged people to register with the service. She said: “I would encourage everyone to sign up to Floodline. This is important so people have a better understanding of the risks and can take the necessary actions to protect themselves, their property or their businesses.” In addition to registering with Floodline to receive free alerts and warnings, SEPA encourages people to take action by using Report-a-Flood, a new tool to share current flooding information. The agency also recommends that people create a flood kit for emergencies, protect personal property by moving valuables to a safer place, and consider how their travel routes may be affected should flooding occur. Visit the sign up page on SEPA's website, download the Floodline service leaflet or call 0345 988 1188 to find out more.

Dundee

Flood warning in force across Dundee and Angus as thunderstorms expected

August 3 2017

Locals across Tayside have been warned to expect flooding today. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has placed a flood alert across Dundee and Angus, with the region expected to be hit by thunderstorms and heavy rain. A Met Office yellow warning of rain is also in place across Tayside and Fife, with thunder, lightning and possibly even hail due later today. Sepa said heavy showers will cause flooding on low-lying land and "isolated properties". Sepa said: "A flood alert has been issued for Dundee and Angus. Heavy, slow moving showers are forecast for Dundee and Angus from midday onwards on Thursday. "This could cause minor disruption if the heaviest showers fall over urban areas or the transport network. Impacts may include localised flooding to low lying land, infrastructure and isolated properties. Due to the localised nature of these showers, not all areas will be affected. https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/local/dundee/481968/tayside-battered-thunderstorms-flooding-heavy-rain-articleisfree/ "Minor flooding impacts from small watercourses and rapidly responding rivers may also occur. "Remain vigilant and remember, it is your responsibility to take actions which help protect yourself and your property.  Advice and information is also available through Floodline on 0345 9881188.  This FLOOD ALERT is now in force until further notice and was sent by phone and sms free of charge to registered customers of our Floodline direct warning service.  If you haven't already signed up to receive free flood messages, please call Floodline or register online at sepa.org.uk/floodingsignup."  

News

SEPA’s advice to householders at risk of flooding

January 19 2011

In the wake of the severe flooding across Perthshire at the weekend, householders at risk are being urged to prepare a "flood plan." The Scottish Environment Protection Agency said recent events had highlighted the impact flooding can have on lives, properties and businesses. As well as monitoring their online floodline service or calling 0845 988 1188, people who face flooding are being asked to prepare a plan and put together a family flood kit. This should include a torch, first-aid kit, warm and waterproof shoes and clothing, prescription medicines, bottled water, food, rubber gloves, children's supplies, pet supplies, insurance details, a portable radio and spare batteries, and a bag or rucksack in case of evacuation. Householders should also familiarise themselves with how to shut off gas, electricity, oil-fired heating and water supplies, and keep a list of contact numbers including the floodline quick dial code. Although the risk of imminent flooding from this event has passed, Scotland's flood warning authority monitors river levels 365 days a year. James Curran, director of science and strategy for SEPA, said, "Flooding can have a major impact on Scotland's people and infrastructure. "The information SEPA gathers through river monitoring is used to provide advance warning of flooding to members of the public, the emergency services and local authorities so they can take early action to respond to potential flood threats."

Dundee

Flood alerts issued for Tayside

January 22 2016

Tayside is once again braced for flooding after SEPA issued warnings and alerts. Flooding is “expected” in the Bridge of Earn, Glen Lyon, Crieff and Carse of Lennoch to Lochlane areas. Meanwhile a “be prepared” alert has been put in place for Dundee and Angus. Police Scotland advised home owners and drivers to take appropriate action. A spokesperson said: “SEPA has issued Flood Warnings for a number of areas in Tayside and a Flood Alert for Dundee and Angus. “Flood warnings are in place for Innerpeffray to Bridge of Earn, Glen Lyon, Crieff to Innerpeffray and Carse of Lennoch to Lochlane.” For updates visit floodline.sepa.org.uk/floodupdates

Perth & Kinross

Flood warnings in place for parts of Perthshire

November 9 2015

Flood warnings have been issued for parts of Perthshire following a morning of torrential rain. Four stretches of water are likely to be affected, according to Sepa, including Carse of Lennoch to Lochlane, Crieff to Innerpeffray Glen Lyon and Innerpeffray to Bridge of Earn. Further rain is expected overnight and into Tuesday morning, with the Met Office having a yellow severe weather warning in place for parts of Perthshire. See updates at floodline.sepa.org.uk/floodupdates/.

Road tests

Audi Q2 puts quality over size

March 21 2018

Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km

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