Local Authority “well prepared” for flooding

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Residents and businesses in Stonehaven were faced with the possibility of a repeat of the devastating floods of three years ago last Friday as the River Carron reached dangerous levels as the North East of Scotland was battered with almost a months worth of rain in twenty four hours.

As roads around the area closed, Aberdeenshire Council and residents watched the levels of the Carron river rise. With a red flood warning in place the local authority erected flooding barriers and handed out sandbags to concerned locals who still have the floods of 2009 fresh in their memories.

One resident of Cameron Street said: “Every time it rains I look at the river levels, normally it is ok but today I have a feeling of dread. I think we are all preparing for the worst but hoping for the best.”

After high tide the river levels started to drop and it appeared the worst had passed, however not before water had spilled into some of the gardens further down Cameron Street.

Water levels were so high huge branches were swept down stream and bangs could be heard as boulders were caught up in the current.

Fortunately, Stonehaven did not flood however Kincardine and Mearns Area Manager, William Munro, has said that had the river burst they were “well prepared” to protect the town.

He said: “Aberdeenshire Council staff from a variety of services worked together, and also in partnership with the relevant agencies, to ensure an immediate and robust response to the potential threat of flooding in Stonehaven on Friday, October 12.

“Council staff were well prepared to protect the area at risk from flooding, by deploying the innovative barrier system and also preparing sandbags which were made available to members of the public at key locations.

“A team was also on standby for the operation of a rest centre, should it have been required. Regular telephone conferences were held with members of the Grampian Strategic Coordinating Group, including the council, Grampian Police, Grampian Fire and Rescue Service, the Scottish Ambulance Service, NHS Grampian, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the Met Office and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, to keep the situation under review with the most up-to-date information.

“I would also like to acknowledge the hard work of the volunteer flood wardens, deployed for the first time in Stonehaven to advise residents of the need to prepare their properties to protect from possible flooding.

“While the emergency response will be evaluated in due course, it is clear that staff worked together in an extremely co-ordinated and professional manner to ensure everything possible was being done to prevent flooding and support the residents of Stonehaven.”