Close Call – But We’re Not Done Yet!

River Eden level in metres at Strathmiglo Level IndicatorIt was another eventful evening in Freuchie and indeed throughout North East Fife last night.

We’ll cover Freuchie in more details in a moment but let’s first have a whirlwind round-up of other areas we know have been affected by flooding.

The SEPA river level monitoring station at Strathmiglo indicated the River Eden was running high – see image to the right.

It was reported the Eden had burst its banks at Cupar and Strathmiglo but it isn’t clear if any property damage occurred as a result.

The Eden also burst its banks between Ladybank and Kettle causing serious flooding at Caldwell Acre. Unfortunately it appears the homes in Caldwell Acre have been built on the fringe of the natural flood plain.

Freuchie Flood Action Group’s chairman visited Kingskettle today to offer assistance and advice but the sight of a lake where normally fields would be made it quickly apparent that nothing could easily done to prevent the flooding at this location. He has made a few suggestions for the community to investigate in the future.

The River Eden went from a low level to a high level with a matter of hours – see graph below that shows the River Eden level at Strathmiglo.

River Eden level in metres at Strathmiglo
Graph: SEPA’s River Eden level monitor at Strathmiglo

The historic high for the River Eden is 1.670 m @ 16/01/1993 16:45 but it is worth pointing out the river level has only been recorded by this gauging station since 1991. Current levels show the Eden to be approximately 1/3 of a metre below this high mark.

FLOODING IN FREUCHIE

Frame_2012-12-21_00-12-49Freuchie Mill culvert was only about 2-3 inches from overtopping just after the peak that occurred shortly after midnight – see webcam image to the left which is from 00:13 hours on the 21st December 2012.

There was minor flooding at Freuchie Mill when the Millwaters started to flood property due to a blocked water feature in the garden of Freuchie Mill House overflowing and the sheer volume of water forcing its way through the drainage channel in one of the gardens.

Freuchie Mill mini-flood event on 21st December 2012  Freuchie Mill mini-flood event on 21st December 2012
Freuchie Mill House water feature surcharging  Millwaters flood water breaking through garden of Freuchie Mill home
Photos: Flooding at Freuchie Mill

The C23 (Freuchie Mill Road) was badly flooded at the Chicken Farm entrance. Fife Council closed off the road after we made a road closure request to both Cllr MacDiarmid and Fife Fire & Rescue Service. Surface drainage improvements done on this road struggled to deal with the water cascading off the A914/C23 and the surface water running down the Chicken Farm road.

Chicken Farm Entrance onto C23 - Freuchie Mill Road  Chicken Farm Road flood waters
Photos: Flooding on C23 at the Chicken Farm entrance and the Chicken Farm road

Freuchie Mill resident had to deploy sandbags from the local store across the road to prevent the surface water overloading the drainage system in Freuchie Mill.

Sandbags across C32 - Freuchie Mill Road 2  Sandbags across C32 - Freuchie Mill Road 1
Photos: Sandbag dam built on C23 (Freuchie Mill Road) to prevent flooding

A 4×4 vehicle has been observed driving over the C23 sandbag dam on multiple occasions today thereby damaging valuable flood protection devices. We would request people don’t drive over such sandbag barriers for these kinds of inconsiderate and selfish actions are putting homes at increased risk from flooding. We will be making further enquiries into this!

Millburn Place car park was flooded resulting in water cascading down the path into the drains in Church Street.

Fife Council delivered sandbags to protect houses in The Feus which was opportune as the Feus culvert was overwhelmed causing flood waters to run down the road at the Feus. Thankfully the street surface water drainage system was able to handle the flood waters.

The gullies around about Albany Crescent were cleaned out a few weeks ago by Fife Council. This measure along with the drainage improvements made by the local farmer Mr James Black ensured a much improved flood risk situation at this location.

The automatic floodgate on the Greentree Brae bridge was tested out when the Freuchie Burn rose to a level just under the footbridge.

We tried to contact people in other flood risks location but weren’t able to get an update at the time. Please comment on this blog post if you know of other flood information for Freuchie.

RAINFALL
The daily rainfall graph below shows we had a big rainfall day early in the month and a few days with reasonably large daily total rainfall that ensured the ground was heavily saturated.

raind
Graph: Freuchie Mill weather station – Daily rainfall graph

The concerning rainfall started at 7pm on Wednesday evening and resulting in 14mm of rainfall by way of a daily total but that was nothing compared with the rainfall for Thursday!

From 9am Thursday until 9am Friday we had nearly 43mm of rainfall, with rainfall rates as high as 7.2mm/hr measured by the Freuchie Mill weather station. The rainfall was steady throughout the whole day. 
 
Freuchie Mill weather station - 24 hour rainfall till 9:30am on 21st Dec 2012
Graph: Freuchie Mill weather station – 24 hour rainfall till 9:30am on 21st Dec

rain
Graph: Freuchie Mill weather station – 24 hour rainfall rates till 9:30am on 21st Dec

The moderate rainfall was at the known problematic rate throughout this period.

NOTE:
Anything at or above 3.6mm/hr usually causes water course levels to rise in Freuchie.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
A number of people need to be thanked for their assistance and vigilance:

  • Patrick Laughlin, Secretary of Freuchie Community Council, for being out and about assessing the main village throughout the night.
  • The residents of Freuchie Mill who monitored and dealt with the flooding that did occur.
  • Cllr David MacDiarmid for his assistance in closing the C23 and asking for an inspector from Fife Fire & Rescue to come out to assess the situation on the ground.
  • Fife Fire & Rescue Service for coming out and their offer of support if we needed it.
  • The Fife Council Transportation Services personnel who closed off the C23 and those who cleaned out the gullies around about Albany Crescent.
  • Finally a big thanks to James Black for the drainage channel dug in the field to the south of Albany Crescent.

WARNING
Serious flooding could occur if we experience a period of intense or continual rainfall within the next few days.

Please keep an eye on the weather reports, SEPA’s flood alert page, the FFAG blog and the FFAG Facebook page for updates.

It is vital to ensure your property is protected from flooding until this risky period has past.

Our thoughts are also with other communities threatened by possible flooding over the next few days.