Flooding update Aberdeenshire, January 13, 2016

Aberdeenshire Council and partners are now working on a major phase of recovery following the extreme flooding in the area.

The council continues to monitor the situation and advice issued by the Met Office and SEPA across the region and support communities following recent flooding.

Ongoing work has taken place to repair roads, provide housing advice, locate skips in numerous locations, coordinate responses for donations, as well as devise a mechanism to distribute Scottish Government flood relief funding of £2million.

A contact email address for people to use to send details to the council to access funding of £1,500 is at: floodrelief@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

The council is asking people to email details including their full name and/or business name, postal address and daytime contact number and residents/businesses will then be contacted once the fund is up and running. 

The Met Office reports the coming few days will be colder and although significant impacts of rain are not expected people should travel with caution due to ice.

SEPA advises that flood warnings for Aberdeenshire have been lifted and river levels are not causing any significant concern however all will continue to be monitored in the coming days.

Co-Leader Councillor Richard Thomson said: “I want to thank everyone for their work in supporting our communities through what has been a devastating experience for many people who have had damage to homes, possessions and businesses as well as the impact it has had on travel.

“Council officers have worked tirelessly alongside community groups to provide support and generous donations to help people recover have also been made, it shows the strong, resilient communities we have in Aberdeenshire.

“It will take time to recover in the coming weeks and days as roads, bridges and properties are repaired and people supported. The funding announcement by Scottish Government to support these efforts is also welcomed.”

Co-Leader Councillor Martin Kitts Hayes said: “The council, communities, partner organisations and businesses across Aberdeenshire are to be commended for supporting people throughout the flooding and helping people recover.

“The extreme weather conditions and rise in river levels faced were some of the highest on record and posed significant issues for infrastructure and safety across the area and as we all recover we can look at what can be done to support people further.

“The funding from Scottish Government will go some way towards helping people and will be met with thanks by many.

“The council is also doing all it can to support businesses and residents throughout the area too whether it has been providing skips to help clear up or storage for retailers to housing advice.”

Work has taken place to provide support to people using rest centres with most people either returning to their homes or provided with alternative temporary accommodation.

Communities of Aberdeenshire have made significant and generous donations following the recent flooding and teams are working to ensure that this is passed on to those that need it.

There is still a distribution centre in Ballater which is currently based at Victoria barracks and council officers are available in Ballater currently based in Mike Sheridan Room at the Victoria and Albert Halls.

A mobile police office is also located outside the Victoria and Albert Halls in Ballater.

Now that the recovery stage is underway, people who are starting to clear up their homes and premises in Formartine are looking for: plastic storage boxes; de-humidifiers; mops; buckets; plastic gloves and antibacterial hand wash.

No more donations of bedding; clothing; shoes; food or toiletries are required for the time being.

Donations can be handed in to Ellon Library, Station Road, Ellon for distribution to Ellon and the surrounding area. Donations can also be handed into the British Legion in Inverurie for people in the Garioch area.

In addition, weekly drop in sessions for residents affected by the flooding in Garioch will be run by the Scottish Flood Forum and the first is on Thursday, January 14 in Port Elphinstone Community House from 12noon-5pm and Kemnay Village Hall from 6pm-9pm.

The severe weather events since December 20, including severe flooding, have led to a number of road and bridge closures, although most short term, some will need repairs.

In addition, as the most recent flood waters recede, to be replaced with much colder weather, the freeze/thaw cycle on saturated ground is likely to lead to further damage to the network. 

We ask motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, to be vigilant and report defects to us online at https://online.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/apps/roadfaults by phone on 03456 081205, or by text to 07624 802 722.

Works to Invercauld Bridge have been completed five days ahead of schedule and will reopen at 5pm today (Tuesday, January 13) following the recent floods.

In the coming weeks and months Aberdeenshire Council will be considering options for the permanent reinstatement of the A93.

Work to create a temporary diversion road around the damaged section of the A93 at Micras has been progressing well and is scheduled for completion and opening to all traffic on Monday, January 18, weather permitting. 

There will be no weight restriction on the temporary road but it will be subject to a 20mph speed restriction for road safety.
SEPA’s Chief Executive, Terry A’Hearn, offered advice to people carrying out repair work and further information is available on the SEPA website.

“Contrary to some reports there is repair work that can be carried out without the need for authorisation from, or contact with, SEPA. This includes works to repair or replace like for like structures that have failed or washed away, dredging small straightened ditches, and removing vegetation and fallen trees