Edinburgh flooding: Anxious local residents share fears as Water of Leith rises above trees

Residents shared startling photos as water levels continued to rise in Edinburgh

The flood gates in Murrayfield have been ‘locked in place’ as water levels continue to rise following heavy rain

Anxious local residents have shared concerning photos as water levels continue to rise following heavy rain in Edinburgh.

Photos overlooking the Water of Leith, in Murrayfield, today showed the river has risen above some trees on its embankment, while partly submerging others.

The flood gates on the bridge, which links Roseburn Park and Riversdale Crescent, have also been drawn.

Speaking to Edinburgh Live, a local resident said: “As it stands just now I am concerned but not quite panicking.

“The water levels are very high and the flood gates, opposite the Chinese Embassy, are locked in position.

“Thankfully, the water is still below the level of the bridge just now and there’s a wee bit to go.

“I have seen it higher before but it’s dark and was still raining earlier,” he added.

Recalling when the area was badly flooded in February 2000, he said: “A lot of it [areas that flooded] depended on various dips and hollows in the road.

“A development beside Roseburn Park had its whole car park flooded and a crane was totally submerged.

The Water of Leith in Murrayfield on Saturday (5 December)

“The water also got over the wall last time on the other side of Roseburn Park, at Roseburn Crescent, the ground floor flats were completely flooded and had to be emptied.”

He added: “Our neighbours next door to us were flooded.

“The water came up to our back garden, so we were close but just escaped being flooded by the skin of our teeth.”

However, the area has since had extensive flood defences put in place as part of Edinburgh Council’s multi-million pound Water of Leith Flood Prevention Scheme.

The flood gates have been locked in place today

The second phase of the scheme covered 1.2km between Murrayfield and Roseburn and was completed in 2018, with reinforced walls and two new road bridges put in place.

Shortly before 8pm last night, local group SOS Leith shared that the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) had recorded that the river level was 2.09m and rising.

SEPA has recorded water levels in the Water of Leith since 1992, with the highest level ever recorded 3.11m at Murrayfield in 2000.

According to the agency’s latest update this afternoon, water levels are 1.536m and are now falling.

Source: Edinburgh Live, 5th December 2020