ANGRY householders have hit out after a flood alarm system failed at the weekend.

As rivers across the region reached their highest levels in years, an automated phone alert system to properties along the Ettrick Water at Lindean wasn't activated.

And several householders woke up to floodwater surrounding their properties.

One Lindean resident, who we agreed not to name, told us: "We knew the river was high but we were oblivious to how high.

"Over the years we have become reliant on the phone calls but there was nothing this time.

"Everyone managed to get out through the floodwater but it could have been a different story."

Communities across the Borders were forced to take action as river levels soared during the early hours of Sunday.

Although a guest house was partially destroyed in Hawick by the storms, many other properties were saved by the actions of volunteer groups with sandbags.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) operates an alert system for all properties at risk of flooding.

A Flood Alert call is normally made a day or two in advance of potential floods - putting householders and flood groups on standby.

And it is followed up by a Flood Warning call in the hours before a flood if river levels continue to build.

The second call is a signal for flood-threatened residents to move themselves and their families to a place of safety as well as move vehicles, animals and valuable possessions.

While some householders living in and around Lindean did receive the initial alert on Saturday, there was no follow-up call during the early hours of Sunday.

And several residents had to drive through 'deep' flooded tracks to escape.

Access to around half a dozen properties in and around Lindean were affected by Sunday's flood.

Another householder told us: "We were one of the lucky ones - the water came to within a foot of our door.

"We did get the Saturday alert to say there was a chance of flooding but there was no Flood Warning call during the night."

SEPA has since apologised to people living in and around Lindean for the alert failure.

A spokesman said: ""We’ve already contacted concerned residents to apologise for any worries this has caused, as they should have received the same high quality Floodline service which other areas received.

"We glad to understand that no property flooding occurred in the Lindean area, but would like to reassure locals that we will take every possible step to improve our service to them.

"Over the weekend we had multiple regional Flood Alerts - including the Scottish Borders - and local Flood Warnings in force, preparing Scotland for potential flooding impacts from Storm Ciara, and were in very regular contact with Scottish Borders Council officials throughout."