Category Archives: Severe Weather Update

Severe weather update

The good news is that rain is due to ease off in the next few hours.

Information from the ELC Resilience Manager states that the risk for flooding is reducing now, as rainfall is expected to significantly drop. Responder agencies including ELC and police are continuing to monitor the situation and take appropriate action if required. The build-up of debris on local rivers is being monitored and action is being taken if required and when possible. The risk of surface water flooding remains a concern in all areas.

The Met Office and SEPA have reduced their weather warnings from amber to yellow. There have been a few localised incidents of flooding. Water levels are now dropping in line with the forecast from SEPA and the Met Office. East Lothian Council, Care for People/Social Care staff have been active in identifying vulnerable people in case further response action was required.

If you have any has concerns about the risks of flooding please get in touch with the Council (01620 827827) or Penny Short (the Garvald Community Emergency Co-ordinator).

Flood alert

Please note that the Met Office has issued an amber warning for East Lothian today, up until Thursday morning. Garvald is due to receive a lot of rainfall during this period. Please expect road flooding and take extra care in these potentially hazardous driving conditions. If you live in the village near the Papana burn, please consider taking extra precautions to avoid flood damage should the water level rise.

Yellow warning for snow and ice

The cold weather is set to continue over the weekend with yellow warnings in place for snow and ice and some snow accumulations expected on high ground in East Lothian overnight. Saturday will become dry but cold, with a band of sleet and light snow expected on Sunday.

Adverse Weather Information

Be prepared! Garvald and Morham can get cut off in the snow in winter and/or have power cuts.

What to do right now:

  • Please let Penny Short (the Community Emergency Co-ordinator) know if you might need extra help in the event of adverse weather or power cuts. This includes if you are vulnerable or have specific health needs, a chronic illness, a requirement for carers or use electrical medical equipment. Please contact Penny using the form below.
  • Pack a small emergency kit and keep it in a safe place at home, in a waterproof bag. Your kit should include a torch and spare batteries (or a wind up torch), a battery-operated radio and spare batteries (or a wind up radio), mobile phone charger, essential medication, some toiletries and a first aid kit, 3 days’ supply of bottled water and ready-to-eat food (that won’t go off), copies of important documents like insurance policies and birth certificates (in case you need to locate these quickly or prove your identity), pencil, paper, a penknife, matches and a whistle.
  • Think about what else you and your family might need, should an emergency occur over an extended period. For example, ensure you have enough food supplies (keep some tinned food and long-life or powdered milk), formula/baby food, pet supplies. Consider purchasing alternative heating methods, a camping stove and an analogue phone (modern digital cordless phones will not work in a power cut).

What to do in adverse weather conditions or a long power cut

  • Keep as warm as possible. Wear layers of clothing and keep at least one room in the house heated.
  • Please try your best to check on vulnerable neighbours and help them to prepare.

Before travelling in severe weather

  • Consider whether you need to travel, or if you can wait until the weather improves
  • Check the weather forecast, and keep up-to-date with the latest weather warnings and road conditions
  • Make sure your car is ready for poor weather (check tyre pressure, windscreen washer supply and fuel levels)
  • Tell someone your destination and when you expect to arrive
  • Allow extra time for your journey
  • Take a fully charged mobile and charger with you
  • Pack an emergency kit in your car. The emergency kit could include a first aid kit, battery jump leads, a torch and spare batteries, a map for unplanned diversions, a blanket, a reflective warning sign. In cold weather, you should also take a shovel for snow, warm clothes and boots, some food, and a warm drink in a flask.

Obtaining information

Listen to local radio:

  • East Coast FM (107.6FM)
  • Forth 1 (97.3FM)
  • Radio Scotland (92-95FM or 810MW)

if you have access to the internet, you can get current information from these websites:

  • Police – www.scotland.police.uk or telephone 999
  • Scottish Fire and Rescue Service – www.firescotland.gov.uk or telephone 999
  • NHS Lothian – www.nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk or telephone 111
  • Scottish Power – www.spenergynetworks.co.uk or telephone 105 or 0800 0929290
  • Scottish Water – www.scottishwater.co.uk or telephone 0845 6018855
  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency (flooding) – www.sepa.org.uk or telephone 08459 881188
  • East Lothian Council – www.eastlothian.gov.uk or telephone 01620 827827 or out of hours 01875 612818

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This information has also been published on the Community Council web pages so you can access it when necessary.

Snow forecast this weekend

Update from the Met Office:

Yellow warning for for snow and ice from 12:00 noon on Sat 15 December To 10:00am on Sun 16 December.

Heavy snow and blizzards may develop across Scotland and northern England with a risk of freezing rain in places.

  • Possible travel delays on roads stranding some vehicles and passengers
  • Possible delays or cancellations to rail and air travel
  • Some rural communities could become cut off
  • Power cuts may occur and other services, such as mobile phone coverage, may be affected
  • A chance of injuries from slips and falls on icy surfaces
  • Bus and train services may be delayed or cancelled, with some road closures and longer journey times possible
  • Untreated pavements and cycle paths might be impassable because of black ice

Please be prepared, take care, allow extra journey time and assist vulnerable neighbours if they need any help. Thank you.

Community Emergency Plan

A message from Penny Short, Chair of Garvald and Morham Community Council:

Following the severe weather we experienced last year I have been working on a Community Emergency Plan to better prepare us for any similar emergency events. Villagers will recall how we were completely cut-off due to the roads being closed by snow and the situation could have become extremely difficult had the extreme weather continued, especially if we had also lost power. I was very proud of how the community came together, particularly the valiant villagers who kindly sourced some milk and bread.

It is sensible to formalise arrangements should such a situation arise again. I have been consulting with the Council’s Emergency Planning & Risk Manager on what the Council can do to help, but we must also take steps to improve our own resilience – the severe weather in February highlighted how little the Council could actually do to help once we were cut off and not everyone was fully prepared.

The main threats to our community include severe weather, such as snow, ice, flooding and high winds, which can cause falling trees and other hazards including first aid emergencies, fires and children/vulnerable people going missing.

Do you have any skills, tools or other resources that could help in any of these situations? For example, local farmers or tree surgeons may have equipment or expertise they are willing to offer. People may be trained in first aid or happy to be called upon should a search party be required. Maybe you have a 4×4 vehicle and could offer transport to pick up supplies in snowy weather, when other vehicles cannot get out of the village.

Would you be happy to be called upon in an emergency? If you would like to be added to our list of local skills and resources please respond using the form below.

Many thanks,

Penny Short

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Severe Weather Update – Thanks

Huge thanks to Jackie McCreery at Yester Dairy, Alistair Kerr for collecting milk supplies and Davie F for venturing to Haddington for supplies. Thanks also to everyone who is helping out with emergency planning and supporting the village. Fantastic to see the community pulling together so brilliantly.

Garvald village hall is open to anyone who wants a change of scene but will probably close around 4pm. Thanks for your support.