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New flood measures can help Lossiemouth Football Club end nightmare

By Craig Christie

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THERE is light at the end of the tunnel in Lossiemouth Football Club’s mission to end their flooding “nightmare”.

Lossiemouth's Grant Park was flooded for the third time in five years.
Lossiemouth's Grant Park was flooded for the third time in five years.

Drainage problems in and around the Coasters’ Grant Park ground meant that after heavy rainfall last Wednesday, sewage water was forced into the club’s newly-refurbished changing rooms.

To make matters worse, Lossie were due to welcome SFA officials the following day for an inspection of their ground improvements.

Long-serving club secretary Alan McIntosh and his helpers had to gut out parts of the new dressing room kit, mop up the mess and disinfect the whole facility in time for the inspection.

In desperation, McIntosh contacted the Scottish Flood Forum for guidance and they sent a representative who has pledged to take action.

The forum’s community support and recovery manager, Paul Hendy has promised to supply Lossiemouth with a range of flood measures to deal with any other possible floods this summer.

In the longer term, he is prompting action from Scottish Water and Moray Council to alter the drainage system around Grant Park to ensure that water doesn’t rise up around the ground in the future.

“We had to dismantle the whole of the dressing rooms,” said McIntosh.

“It was only last year we put them in and we had to dismantle all the bottoms and rescue them.

Lossiemouth's newly refurbished changing room which was damaged by the flood.
Lossiemouth's newly refurbished changing room which was damaged by the flood.

“The new shower rooms, there was sewage came up through the drains, through the lobby into the referees room all the carpets were lifted.

“It is just a total nightmare. We thought we were past all this.”

Thankfully for Lossie, more heavy rain on Sunday fell short of creating the same swell of water which engulfed Grant Park last week.

Flash floods swept in just after club groundsperson Daphne Bloomfield left the ground at 10am last Wednesday.

“I got a call at 11 to say the water was in through everything,” said McIntosh.

A soakaway drain which runs from the road outside the Grant Park entrance and underneath the club’s office fills up whenever there is heavy downpours over a short period of time – just like last week.

“When it fills up and the drain into the streets fills up there’s nowhere for the water to go but into our property, which has got the two sewage drains.

“When they fill up, and it was three inches above that,it doesn’t go away quickly and it starts coming in through the door and up through the drains.”

SFA officials who arrived the following day were sympathetic to the Lossie cause and will make a follow-up once the damage has been cleared up.

The club will also be given non-return valves to fit into the drains in the shower room to prevent the backflow of sewage water.

The Scottish Flood Forum will also supply the Moray club with hydrosnakes, a new flood prevention measure which inflates when soaked and lets water in but doesn’t let any out.

“They are looking at putting the soakaway back into the main drain,” added McIntosh.

“If I hadn’t got in touch with Paul Hendy, I think we would have been knocking our heads together with the water board and the council without the problem being fixed.

“He tells us there is apparently legislation out now which we can use as a lever to get this work done.”

More than four inches of water rose up through Grant Park during flash floods in 2014, with the problem returning three years later and again last week.

“The dressing room boxes that were on the floor had to be dismantled and put up high, so they will need to be refitted.

“It might take months to get the drawings done and some action to get the soakaway drain rerouted into the main drain.

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