South Scotland

Storm Ciara: Collapsed Hawick guest house 'stood for over 200 years'

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Media captionRyan McGee captures the moment a building collapses into the River Teviot

A bed and breakfast owner in the Borders has described witnessing his business partially collapse during Storm Ciara.

Parts of the Bridge House guest house in Hawick and a neighbouring restaurant were washed away in the River Teviot.

Gino Antonacci told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland it was "not very nice to see".

He said the building had stood for more than 200 years and he had never had any problems in the past.

Footage of the collapse emerged on Sunday afternoon following the incident as Storm Ciara caused damage around the country.

Mr Antonacci said there had been some early indications of an issue which prompted them to get everybody out of the building.

Image copyright Rob Tait/PA Media
Image caption The building was evacuated before the wall collapsed on Sunday

"We had some signs of the wall going under the water," he said.

"There were cracks coming in the wall, so we evacuated the premises.

"At night the river was very strong and high - and in the morning it just collapsed."

He said the incident had happened just a few months after they had carried out renovations to the building.

"It wasn't very nice to see it, I have got to say that," he said.

Hawick is currently seeing the introduction of a multi-million pound flood protection scheme.

It is due to be completed late in 2022.

Image copyright Hawick Flood Group
Image caption A flood protection scheme is being built in Hawick after previous problems

Mr Antonacci said that despite wider problems in the town in previous years, his business had not been affected.

"The building has been there for over 200 years - we have never had any problems before," he said.

"There was a big flood in 2005 - but in 2005 it was just a big washout in the middle of the area but not particularly in my building."

He said he had "no idea whatsoever" what was going to happen with the property.

However, a charity appeal has already raised hundreds of pounds to help the businesses affected get "back on their feet".

Police said nobody had been injured in the incident and a cordon had been placed around the building.

Scottish Borders Council said its building control officers had been involved in assessing the damage.

Further weather warnings remain in place across southern Scotland and beyond until Wednesday lunchtime.

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