A SERVICE set to inform the public of flooding three days in advance is being launched in the Hillfoots today.

The Scottish Flood Forecast will be launched during an event at the Ben Cleuch Centre in Tillicoultry on Wednesday, February 8, morning.

Developed by SEPA and the Met Office, the forecast will provide the earliest indication possible of when and where flooding is expected over the next three days and whether the source is from rivers, surface water or the sea.

A colour-coded map on SEPA's website will also describe the potential impacts on communities along with links to advice and information on what protective action people can take.

The forecast was developed following extensive research involving the public, emergency responders and community flood resilience groups, such as those operating in Hillfoots towns and villages.

While the likes of Menstrie and Alva community resilience groups and Tillicoultry, Devonside and Coalsnaughton Flood Group (Tideco) are already able to monitor burns in their communities using RiverTrack, the forecast will be invaluable.

Gail Walker, of Tideco, said: "The Scottish Flood Forecast is an important information source for Tideco.

"Advance warning of flooding supports us to work out how we can best respond to weather events with the resources we have.

"Tillicoultry has a number of flooding issues and is a known flooding 'hot spot'.

"This can include surface water and sewage flooding within residential streets, as well as flooding from the Tillicoultry Burn and the River Devon, which both have a history of having flooded out homes in the past.

"Whilst we have some flood defence measures in place, we still have areas that are vulnerable.

"The Scottish Flood Forecast is a useful trigger for the group to plan, prepare and to make sure volunteers are in areas where we know there is the potential for flooding.

"The key role of Tideco is to warn, inform and offer support to those at risk of flooding or who may have been impacted."