Flood risk falling but rain to continue as recovery efforts take place across the north-east

Latest forecasts by SEPA and the Met Office show the flood risk across the north-east is falling as river levels begin to drop, although rain is due to continue over the coming days.

Conditions are expected to be generally drier into Wednesday, although lighter rain and some hill snow will continue in south Aberdeenshire. A band of heavier and more persistent rain is expected into Wednesday night and Thursday morning, slowly clearing into the evening.

A yellow warning for rain is in place for areas including south Aberdeenshire throughout Wednesday and Thursday.

In terms of flood risk, no issues are expected over the next few days as river levels have now peaked and are slowly falling.

There has been some local flooding at the River Dee in Aberdeen but no significant issues have been reported.

Water continues to pose a challenge for a number of communities, with Kintore, Inverurie and St Cyrus affected by flooding overnight into Tuesday, leading to a small number of households making use of a rest centre at Inverurie Academy.

In Ballater, all remaining residents being accommodated at the Victoria Barracks are expected to be moved to alternative accommodation on Thursday. 

And in Aboyne, the evacuated from Bonty Court sheltered housing and Allachburn care home will remain in alternative accommodation for the meantime until the impact of rainfall expected at the end of the week is known.

This afternoon, a rise in the level of the River Ythan at Ellon led to the closure of the riverside path but no properties are thought to be under threat.

Officers from Police Scotland are continuing to support recovery efforts in the Deeside area, and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is also continuing to provide local support where required. 

Plans are now in place for the repair of a number of key routes and structures damaged by the recent severe weather as communities across the north-east begin their recovery.

Chief Executive of Aberdeenshire Council Jim Savege said: “Despite the ongoing weather challenges we’ve made good steps forward with our partners in terms of carrying out repairs to re-open key transport routes.

“We’ve also been speaking with local businesses in Aboyne and Ballater to look at how we can support their recovery.

“We’ve had positive discussions with the Scottish Government over access to funding to help us progress repairs, and we will be having ongoing conversations about how we can help minimise flood risk in a number of communities in the future.”

Community efforts to protect properties continue, with dozens of volunteers supporting council teams to make up and transport thousands of sandbags for affected communities in Aberdeenshire. This work will continue over the next few days.

All schools in Aberdeenshire are expected to open as normal at the start of the new school term tomorrow (Wed), but some school transport may be affected. Parents and guardians are asked to check the schools section of the Aberdeenshire Council website for local arrangements.

Aberdeenshire Council engineers have been working with the owners of Abergeldie Castle to look at options to help protect the historic building being claimed by the River Dee. The authority will also be providing advice to owners of other properties that lie close to the river.

Key road closures and diversions and timescales for repairs

• The A93 has been reduced to a single land route at Auchallater due to water damage to a section of the embankment. Repairs by Perth and Kinross Council are expected to be complete by the end of the week.

• The Invercauld Bridge on the A93 at Braemar remains closed to both vehicular and pedestrian traffic, following damage to the flood relief arch on the east of the structure.

A plan to repair the damage to the relief arch has been agreed and contractors began work today. It is expected the works will be complete in about a fortnight. For the meantime, vehicular access to Braemar will continue to be via the A93 from the south.

Following discussions with landowners and relevant agencies, the old Dee Bridge is now available to pedestrians, and is lit at night. Pedestrians are advised to take a torch and take additional care when using the bridge.

Emergency vehicles will be able to use the bridge as required, but there is no access to public vehicles.

• The A93 at Micras remains unpassable following the collapse of a large section of the road. Diversions are in place via the B979 South Deeside Road to the south, and via the A939 and B976 via Gairnshiel to the north.

Both routes are narrow in sections and extra care and time should be taken when using these routes. 

Agreement has been reached with a local landowner to construct a temporary diversion at Micras, and it is hoped this will be in place within the next week to 10 days.