A Tweed Valley team member on duty during the Storm Frank floods. Photo: Tweed Valley MRT

A Tweed Valley team member on duty during the Storm Frank floods. Photo: Tweed Valley MRT

Mountain rescue teams in southern Scotland were active helping residents as Storm Frank hit the area yesterday, causing floods in many towns and villages in the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway.

Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team said planning began on Sunday, three days before the storm was due to bring heavy rain.

With an amber weather warning issued, Galloway, Moffat, Tweed Valley, Border Search and Rescue and Ochils teams agreed to set up a ‘silver command’, covering all the teams, and showing the availability of members via the Sarcall system. The teams’ volunteers were asked to make themselves available.

The Tweed Valley MRT spokesperson said the team was placed on formal standby by Police Scotland about 11am on Tuesday. The spokesperson said: “Team specific ‘bronze’ logs were opened up in the Sarcall system to track taskings at a more granular level than the overall ‘silver’ log.

“At 8pm Scottish Borders Council opened up its resilience room where representatives of the agencies involved in the response to Storm Frank could work together to ensure a joined-up approach was taken when dealing with any incidents.”

On Wednesday, the Tweed Valley team was asked about 5.25am to help with the evacuation of homes in the Hawick area. “This involved team members knocking on doors in areas at risk of flooding and requesting residents move to a designated reception centre,” the spokesperson said.

“Meetings in the SBC resilience room with input from Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and the Met Office flagged the situation in Hawick as stable and Peebles as a very high-risk area with data models showing the river would break peak levels since SEPA records began.”

The Tweed Valley team was asked to move to Peebles. “Team members deployed to various areas of Peebles to work door-to-door asking residents to evacuate to reception centres,” the team spokesperson said. “Assistance was given to a number of residents who did not have their own transport or had mobility issues.

“During this task, notes were taken of any residents who opted not to evacuate. This data was then passed back to control and would be used later on for welfare checks.

“MRT members can only recommend that residents evacuate; those that choose to stay do so at their own risk but wherever possible we will still try and check up on people even if that is a wave through a window with a thumbs up or down from a distance.

“At 1.25pm fire and ambulance services attending a car stuck in water at Stobo requested MRT assistance to get close to the stranded vehicle. The driver was trapped inside with water to her waist and a bystander who had tried to assist became stranded and was sitting on top of the car.

“Royal Navy Sea King Rescue 177 was on scene but was redeployed very shortly after arriving to a bus trapped in water in Ayrshire.”

Team members continued to make checks and carry out patrols until they were stood down finally at 10.30pm.

The spokesperson added: “The story continues once the team stands down. Members need to get their own personal kit dried and repacked, team vehicles need to be fuelled and washed as well as any kit restocked and stowed.

“The media and social media aspect also needs looked after as a lot of the community saw teams members in action and as we are a volunteer team which relies on public donations it’s always helpful to keep people informed about the work we do.

“The final point is to wish all friends and followers a very happy New Year when it comes from all at Tweed Valley MRT.”

Some articles the site thinks might be related:

  1. Urgent work protects historic Yorkshire Dales mill hours before storm sweeps in
  2. Storm Desmond: mountain rescue team spends 45 hours helping flooded Border towns
  3. Kendal rescuers among flood victims as Storm Desmond hit town
  4. Duddon and Furness rescuers raise more than £2,000 for Storm Desmond flood victims
  5. Four cold and wet campers in night-time rescue in southern Highlands