Aberdeenshire Council’s head of roads and landscape services has admitted that the council “can’t do anything” to stop the sea hitting properties.
Mr McKay was speaking at a meeting on Tuesday evening in Stonehaven, organised by the town’s Flood Action Group to discuss the issue of coastal flooding.
The town was affected by high tides and coastal flooding on October 7, as well as a previous storm in December 2012.
He told residents that a report has been compiled looking at potential flood defence options, and these were still being assessed, but admitted: “There is very little we can do to prevent water coming over the wall.
‘‘We can’t do anything to stop the sea hitting your properties unless we can do something substantial.
‘‘In the short term that’s where we are.”
Several residents called for shingle on the beach to be lowered so that it didn’t pile up against the sea wall but could still absorb the energy of the waves.
Mr McKay said that lowering the level of the beach would be a “bad idea.”
He explained: “On October 7, the highest sea wall was at the harbour, and the amount of water that crashed over it was enough to sink several boats.
‘‘If we lower the beach there will be more capacity for water.
“The higher the beach is, the more energy from the waves it absorbs.”
Mr McKay added that changing weather patterns may be causing the flooding to be more frequent.
The meeting also heard from Greig Walker, chair of the Flood Action group.
He offered help to anyone who wished to purchase some flood protection for their homes.
He said: “For anyone who is going to purchase flood gates and other forms of protection, the Flood Action Group have a fund where we can provide up to £150 of the cost.”
Forms are available from John Briggs’ Persian rug shop on Bridgefield.