Bute ‘needs to prepare for more severe weather’

High tide at Rothesay harbour on December 30.
High tide at Rothesay harbour on December 30.

The man in charge of delivering Bute’s emergency plan has warned that the flood events which have struck Scotland in the last few weeks are only going to become more frequent.

Ascog resident Ronnie Falconer, a retired civil engineer who specialised in flood mitigation and climate adaptation, spoke after a ‘close call’ on December 30 - the day after Storm Frank struck much of the country - in which Rothesay and Ardbeg only narrowly escaped the effects of a tidal surge.

Mr Falconer, who took on responsibility in December for delivering the island’s community emergency plan, said: “There’s a difference between climate mitigation, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and carbon management, and climate adaptation, which is dealing with changes in weather patterns that we can’t do anything about because of our emissions over the last hundred years.

“Sea level rises are going to happen and we just have to deal with that. My belief is that we’re going to be seeing more frequent and more severe weather events in the future and so we’d better be prepared to deal with them.”

A £1.7 million flood defence scheme for Rothesay, featuring the construction of a solid wall barrier along the length of the town’s promenade and a ‘hump’ for the vehicle marshalling area on the pier, was completed in February 2005.