Superstorm Sandy and Coastal Flooding Risks in Dundee


1 November 2012  

Ferry Councillor Laurie Bidwell said:

"In a week when we see pictures of the devastation from flood damage caused by Superstorm Sandy in New York, I think it's certainly time to be asking how well prepared we are in Dundee to meet the potential challenge from storm damage and rising sea levels."

 "The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) have stated that, 'From the National Flood Risk Assessment we have found that one in 22 of all residential properties and one in 13 of all non-residential properties are at risk of flooding from rivers, the sea or heavy rainfall in urban areas.' "

 "The extract from the National Flood Risk Assessment map, which is available online, broadly indicates that the City Centre and waterfront and central Broughty Ferry are the coastal areas of Dundee most at risk of flooding.

"But this map doesn't identify risks to individual homes and businesses.

"That will come from further studies.

"I am relieved therefore to be informed that at long last the Stage 2 Coastal Flood Study which the council commissioned from external consultants will be presented to Committee before the end of the year and a briefing for all City Councillors has been arranged for later this month.

"Before the election in May 2012, I was assured that this survey report would be reported to Council after the election but before the summer recess.

"The recent storm destruction and disruption in the USA and in other parts of the UK remind us that we should not be waiting for a devastating storm to hit Dundee's coast before we make contingency plans and make improvements to protect the homes and livelihoods of our constituents. 

"At a recent meeting of the Planning Committee, when outline planning consent for the V and A was granted, I had asked senior planning officers at the meeting whether rising sea levels had been taken into account in determining the level of the proposed building on its site.

"We were informed that the site level had taken into account a potential rise in sea levels between 1 to 1.5 metres (3ft 3 inches to 4ft 11 inches in imperial measurements)."

 "As a Ferry Councillor I am obviously aware of the problems of flooding from high tides in stormy conditions that lap up close to properties near the Lifeboat shed.

"But add another four or five feet to sea levels and exceptionally at a spring tide with a following wind many more homes and businesses could be vulnerable to flooding and at depths that might necessitate evacuation. 

"I think many folk in central Broughty Ferry living close to the river will be wondering what is in store, what the Council will be doing about this and when will they start work on beefing up our coastal protection."

Maryfield Councillor Georgia Cruickshank said,

"This will be worrying news for my constituents in City Quay who have bought properties or developed businesses close to the Tay.

"It would seem that that their homes and premises will be exposed to the risks of rising sea levels and an increased risk of coastal flooding.

"I hope the Council will be revealing adequate plans to reassure my constituents that they will be protected.

"Clearly as sea levels are rising there is a threat to coastal properties and my constituents and many local businesses will be in the front line."

Ferry Councillor Laurie Bidwell said,

" I have written to the Chief Executive David Dorward about these issues and requested clarification about what improvements to coastal protection in City Quay and Broughty Ferry will be made."


The Screenshot has been taken from the NFRA Map.

This online map carries the following caveat:

The NFRA map should not be used to assess flood risk to individual properties. The NFRA is based on currently available national datasets including the Indicative River and Coastal Flood Map. Given the inherent uncertainty in flood estimation methods and the strategic scope of the assessment, further detailed studies may still be required to accurately assess flood risk for a particular local area. 
SEPA has made all reasonable efforts to ensure that the NFRA has been reviewed for errors and inaccuracies. There is no guarantee data supplied is accurate, complete or up to date. Responsibility lies with the user to validate any information given. SEPA will not be responsible if the information contained in the NFRA map is misinterpreted or misused. 




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