Flood prevention measures on show

ENIGINEERS who have been working to ensure that Stonehaven is protected from flooding got the chance to show their ideas to the public last week.

An exhibition took place in the Town Hall on Thursday which displayed the options for protecting the town.

Six options, which vary in cost and effectiveness went on show to the public. The exhibition followed the revelation that Aberdeenshire Council officials fear Stonehaven could suffer flooding every decade if action is not taken to improve the capacity of the River Carron.

The six options included the proposal to construct riverside walls which would be more than 8ft tall at certain locations along the river, would cost £3.4m, but the council acknowledges it would be “highly visible and disruptive”.

Another potential measure would require walls just over 5ft, but would also need modifications to the river channel and bridge relocation - also costing around £3.4m.

A third option requires upstream floodplains, changes to the channel, bridge modifications and other defences. This would allow for the walls to be smaller than 5ft but would cost nearly £3m more than the other options.

Six supplementary options are also being examined including dredging and the removal of rock armour – the report states these would have a “limited effectiveness”.

Many residents attended the exhibition to have their views heard. Many of them had experienced the flooding in in 2009 when the river Carron burst it’s banks which saw water levels reaching two feet and people being evacuated from their homes.

The measures have focussed on the river Carron, and any flood risk from the river Cowie, the sea and drainage and sewage capacity were not included in the study.

One couple who attended the meeting, a Mrs and Mrs Mackie, said that they were glad to see moves being made to protect the town.

Mr and Mrs Mackie, whose business was flooded and whose home narrowly avoided the same fate, told the Leader that they would like to see the option including upstream floodplanes put in to practice to protect the town.

Mr Mackie said: “Our home in Allardice Street was only saved because it is an old house with no vents so no water was able to come up through the floors, as with so many other homes. There was 2ft of water outside the door but we went down to the beach and filled our own sandbags and managed to save our home. We have now bought a floodgate in case it happens again.”

Mr Mackie added that his shop, which was the Rufftraks bike shop on Barclay Street, did not get away so easily and thousands of pounds worth of stock was damaged in the flooding.

Mrs Mackie said: “We like the option that includes upstream storage, and raising the bridges would be a good idea too. Keeping the drains clear would help, and I have noticed the council have been better at that since the flooding.

“We just don’t have the peace of mind we once had, and if we ever go away we are always worried about the weather in Stonehaven, worrying that it could happen again.”

A series of public meetings will follow the consultation before an outline scheme design is decided upon.