15 February 2021

Potential of flooding once snow begins to melt

Aberdeenshire Council is continuing to focus on clearing deep snow from roads and footways across Aberdeenshire after parts of Scotland were battered by Storm Darcy.

While a number of the main roads are now open, many side roads still require significant attention as a result of drifting snow.

Now, with temperatures forecast to increase, residents and communities are being asked to prepare for the potential of flooding once the snow begins to melt.

The catchments of rivers such as the Dee, Don and Deveron extend into the Cairngorms where there is significant snow accumulations which may result in flooding if we experience a rapid thaw.

Residents should take what measures they can to protect their homes and properties from flooding should the thaw happen quickly.

Aberdeenshire Council will be working in partnership with SEPA - the Flood Warning Authority - which has responsibility for warning and informing the public on the threat of flooding.

The council's knowledge of known flood risk locations such as Aboyne, Ballater, Ellon, Inverurie, Kemnay, Kintore and Stonehaven will allow us to support such communities as much as we can to ensure their resilience measures are as effective as possible.

Aberdeenshire Council responsibilities

• We have an obligation to maintain roads and undertake certain emergency responses in the event of flooding, but this does not extend to private properties

• We regularly assess water bodies and can undertake maintenance works including the clearance of watercourses if deemed to significantly reduce flood risk

• We are responsible for the maintenance of road gullies on an annual cyclic basis to ensure that they operate efficiently to avoid localised flooding, however these drains are not designed to cope with the extreme weather events we are now witnessing on a more regular basis

• We have no statutory duty to prevent properties from flooding

• We have no duty to provide sandbags. However, when we can, we will make sandbags available at our main Roads Depots.

Residents/business responsibilities

• Residents and businesses must take steps to protect their own property from flooding as being prepared can reduce the damage caused and help keep them, their family and their property safe

• Protect against flooding by taking appropriate action to stop flood water entering your property - block doorways and other entrances to property with sandbags or alternatives products. If sandbags or other defences are not readily available a pillowcase or plastic shopping bag filled with earth or sand will make an effective substitute

• Residents are also responsible for maintaining private drainage including gullies and drains on shared private access roads and courtyards

Useful links:

Full details of who does what and where to go to for help if you need it is, is available at: https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/environment/flooding/
For more advice about preparing for and dealing with emergencies, visit: https://ready.scot/

Register for future local flood alerts on SEPA’s website at: https://floodline.sepa.org.uk/floodupdates/