Hands off the flood barrier, warns councillor

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Oban’s Black Lynn flood barrier is ready and waiting to defend against high waters but vandals could ruin it all.

Councillor Jim Lynch is pleading with those still messing with the barrier units and throwing sandbags into the burn to leave well alone.

Vandals who tampered with the sandbags and removed one of the barrier’s units earlier this month throwing it in the burn have already been branded ‘shameful’ by Argyll and Bute Council but, according to reports made to Councillor Lynch, those responsible are ‘still at it’.

He said: ‘They are still at it. Messing around with the barrier and throwing sandbags into the water is irresponsible and dangerous. They have been put there for a reason – to protect people and their properties.

‘It’s frustrating that this is happening. I’m asking people to leave it alone and would encourage families to talk about it with their children so they understand why the barrier and sandbags are there and how important they are.’

The low-level barrier has now been appropriately filled with ballast to weigh it down and has been turned the right way round since an article appeared in The Oban Times pointing out it appeared to have been wrongly installed.

Councillor Lynch is also calling on Argyll and Bute Council to make sure pumps are closer to hand than Helensburgh the next time the Black Lynn floods.

‘We must make sure we are ready if something similar to the October floods happens again. If we’re ready to respond and the pumps are nearby, then we we are half way there to saving problems,’ he said.

A second drop-in session is now being organised by the council for people to have their say on flooding in their town.

There was an initial consultation in June 2018 but since then the severe floods on October 9 caused widespread flooding in the Lochavullin area as well as other parts of the town resulting in local residents and businesses experiencing significant damages and disruption.

A flood study being carried out by Argyll and Bute Council, together with EnviroCentre Ltd, wants to hear about people’s experiences and thoughts as well as to gather any photos that could help.

Met Office climate change projections are predicting extreme tidal levels could rise by up to 0.5 metres along the local coastline by the year 2080 and that the area will suffer greater flooding of drains and watercourses.

The drop-in will be at the Rockfield Centre on Wednesday January 30 from 11am to 5.30pm.  Anyone who cannot attend can still send information or suggestions to ObanFRM@envirocentre.co.uk.

Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Roads and Amenity Services, Councillor Roddy McCuish said: ‘This is an excellent opportunity for local people to have their say on plans that will help to minimise flooding and benefit the whole community. The views of our residents are vital, so it is really important that as many people as possible attend.’