High-tech new flood defence for Freuchie

FREUCHIE;'New flood defence system being officially launched. Various local VIPs and officials.'photo; WALTER NEILSON
FREUCHIE;'New flood defence system being officially launched. Various local VIPs and officials.'photo; WALTER NEILSON
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A NORTH east Fife community that was devastated by floods two-and-a-half years ago has become the first in Scotland to be equipped with a revolutionary new flood defence system.

Officials from SEPA and Fife Council joined residents of Freuchie Mill, Freuchie, for the official commissioning of a self-closing flood barrier.

Made by the specialist firm UK Flood Barriers, based in Droitwich, Worcestershire. the system uses the power of rising flood water to automatically deploy the barrier, which rises like a floating wall.

The barrier at Freuchie Mill is just two metres wide, but its makers say will provide the residents with continuous peace of mind for many years to come.

They have been living in fear of heavy rainfall since August 2008, more than a dozen homes were flooded and some 20 cars submerged as a raging torrent of water engulfed a whole cul-de-sac following days of heavy rain.

UK Flood Barriers’ boss Frank Kelly said: “We are delighted to be here to witness this as a ‘Scottish first’ for passive flood defence systems.

“The self-closing flood barrier is an extremely versatile and dynamic structure that can be installed along any waterway, in coastal defences, to surround low lying buildings and protect vital installations.”

The barrier was commissioned by Kingdom Housing as part of an ongoing project to minimise flood risk.

John Thomson, chair of Freuchie Flood Action Group — set up in the wake of the floods in 2008 — commented: “It is a good piece of engineering and we are reasonably confident that it will do the job it’s designed for.”

ENGINERRING

The barrier was also welcomed by local councillor David MacDiarmid, who said: “You couldn’t fail to be impressed by this simple but effective piece of engineering.

“If the August 08 weather pattern is repeated, this barrier is another line of defence for Freuchie Mill. This is the first barrier of this kind to be fitted in Scotland, and I am sure it won’t be the last.

“These floating barriers would give great peace of mind to many people living in flood risk areas in other parts of the country, but I am so pleased that Freuchie was first.”