FLOOD action groups were kept hard at work as they fought to keep communities safe from the rising waters last Wednesday.

The Tillicoultry, Devonside and Coalsnaughton flood group TIDECO sprang into action as torrential rains swept parts of Clackmannanshire.

Volunteers distributed flood sacks to grateful home-owners to block their gates and doorways to keep flood water out, and contacted energy providers to ensure vulnerable members of the community and affected homes were reconnected to the network as soon as possible.

Gail Walker, the current chair of the group, was flooded out of her home along with most of her neighbours in 2008, and therefore has a good understanding of how devastating flooding can be on individuals and families.

Speaking of her traumatic experience of the harsh weather conditions, she told the Advertiser: "Even years later, you still get nervous when it rains heavily.

"When it comes to flooding and hot spot areas, local people are the eyes and ears needed to respond as quickly as possible to areas most at risk.

"Flooding to properties is relatively rare, but when it does occur it can be devastating. We need more people to get involved to keep our community safe but we need to do it together with the council and other agencies to make sure any response is coordinated.

"The more eyes and ears we have on the ground, the better we can respond."

TIDECO volunteers have produced a flood plan for Tillicoultry, which supports an appropriate response to flooding incidents in the area.

This was tested last week on Tuesday and Wednesday when Moss Road and Hareburn Road flooded amid torrential downpours with traffic diverted and people's homes under threat.

Describing the response, Gail said: "The team of volunteers used their training to the full.

"We worked well with the council and other blue light services to support local residents as best we could.

"This is the first time we've had to respond to a flood, so it was good to find out what we did well and what else we need to think about to help those affected by flood water."

TIDECO works alongside The Conservation Volunteers, a small group of community volunteers that regularly patrol hot spot locations such as the River Devon and the Tillicoultry Burn.

The role is critical and volunteers raise any issues with the council but also clear out debris when they can.

Another area badly hit by the flash floods was Menstrie, with the area's own response team acting quickly to help the community.

James Bull, lead co-ordinator at the Menstrie Community Resilience Group told the Advertiser about the work they put in.

He said: "Menstrie did see some of the torrential rain and as a precaution we placed some flooding protection down at the care home; however, we weren't impacted in the same way that Tillicoultry was.

"The Menstrie burn was flowing well and was only close to 50 per cent of its capacity. The group was watching our monitoring system closely.

"We work closely with the Tilly TIDECO group and share documentation and ideas as we interface with the same agencies and having similar issues to protect from."

TIDECO, which was formed in 2017, is a group of local people whose homes or neighbours have been affected by flooding or who have witnessed and are concerned about flooding in the area.

The group works with Clackmannanshire Council, SEPA, Scottish Flood Forum, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and The Conservation Volunteers, to help protect and reduce the impact of flooding on homes and properties within the area.

Those who live around a flooded area, or is interested in getting involved to keep their community safe from flooding, can reach the group at tideco2018@yahoo.com or through the Tillicoultry, Devonside and Coalsnaughton Community Resilience Group Facebook page.