A COUNCILLOR has called for the road drainage system to be checked after Musselburgh was hit by flooding on Saturday evening.

Musselburgh ward councillor Katie Mackie described the scenes of flooded streets in the Honest Toun after a heavy downpour as “shocking”.

She is now calling for funding to be targeted at improving local drainage systems and gullies if a problem is identified.

She told the Courier: “Fortunately it appears on this occasion no significant damage was done and East Lothian Council was on hand to remove flood water. But, in order to avoid a repeat of Saturday night’s flooding, we need to ensure that the road drainage system is checked and funding is targeted where the need is greatest.”

Torrential downpours in a short space of time caused the flooding due to excess surface water.

Problems at the Wallyford roundabout, Millhill, Stoneybank Terrace, New Street, Eskside East and Windsor Gardens were reported to East Lothian Council’s contact centre.

The council’s emergency response team attended call-outs.

A council spokeswoman said: “Our contact centre received a number of calls from 7pm until 10.30pm regarding surface water flooding on Saturday.”

She stressed that the River Esk did not burst its banks, adding: “Very heavy rainfall in a short period of time led to excess surface water, which took time to dissipate.

“Gully motors were used in locations where reports had been received at our contact centre.

“We remained in regular contact with SEPA and the Met Office over the weekend to monitor expected rainfall and its impact on water levels, and therefore the public.

“We work with partners to prepare for, monitor and respond to flood incidents and have also been working closely with communities across East Lothian to build resilience in the event of flooding or other adverse conditions. These plans served us well once again.”

Ward councillor Andy Forrest said: “The flooding in Musselburgh was caused by exceptional rainfall.

“Drainage systems in place by both Scottish Water and East Lothian Council could not cope with such a sudden and intense downpour, which was more or less what happened around the rest of Scotland.

“Our staff responded to reports of flooding and road services had two gully vehicles out to clear any blocked gullies but the water in Musselburgh cleared very quickly after the torrential rain stopped.”

Meanwhile, a preferred multi-million-pound flood prevention scheme to safeguard Musselburgh against extreme weather will be unveiled in November.

A briefing earlier this month for councillors and council officials at The Brunton heard that the plan would be presented to a meeting of East Lothian Council’s cabinet.

More than 250 people also visited a two-day public exhibition on the scheme – 85 people who gave feedback were in favour of a flood protection scheme and five against.

This followed a public exhibition in February, taking the total number of people consulted this year to 500.

Modelling used looked at not only the main flood risks from the Esk and the Firth of Forth but also scenarios where a river flood event coincided with a high sea level.

Consultants are now pushing forward to come up with a preferred scheme which would exceed the initial £8.9 million costing from 2016, with a financial split of 80 per cent from the Scottish Government and 20 per cent from the council.

Feasible options include direct defences such as walls and embankments, looking at taking out weirs and bridges, modifying and raising them, or putting new ones back, and using pumping stations to take water out to sea.

Removing the centuries-old mill lade, which runs from Eskmills through the town, or carrying out work to reduce its flood risk, installing flood gates and dredging, are other options being looked at.