St Cyrus travellers say ‘money well spent’ on specialist after site left ‘bone dry’ following floods

Residents at North Esk Park say the site was left 'bone dry' after the recent floods
Residents at North Esk Park say the site was left 'bone dry' after the recent floods

The North Esk travellers site at St Cyrus was left “bone dry” during the recent floods of Storm Frank despite warnings to the contrary.

The owners say money was well spent after employing a flood plain specialist company, which they paid for privately.

The site, although surrounded by fast moving water from the broken banks of the river North Esk, remained unaffected as it rode out the storm during the unprecedented rainfall last week. See our picture on the right.

William Docherty, site owner, was overjoyed to report the caravans were never in any danger of being flooded despite strong warnings from SEPA and Aberdeenshire Council, who have declared the site a flood plain.

The travellers employed a flood specialist company to compile risk assessments for their site at great expense, “over £45,000 in total”, but William said: “It’s money well spent, we never panicked, the touring caravans in the halting site were removed on advice from the Coastguard as we had an emergency evacuation plan in position but the rest of us sat it out in the knowledge that we would be fine.”

He said the site was “bone dry” throughout Frank’s assault on Angus even though the main objection to retrospective planning consent for the site is the position of the park within a flood prone area.

The travellers used their JCB equipment to widen ditches and help the burst river find its way to the sea and William said they had hot soup and bread waiting for emergency services who were on duty throughout the flooding.

He added: “Our next door neighbours were having a bit of trouble with the flooding on their property, so we said they could use their water pump to pump the excess into our halting yard, which they eventually did. We like to think we helped them out.”