beta

You're viewing our new website - find out more

News

FM visits people hit by Storm Frank

Published: 31 Dec 2015 14:41

Ministers updated on response at visits and resilience meeting.

The First Minister, Deputy First Minister and Environment Minister have met with people affected by flooding as the clear-up operation gets underway.

In Newton Stewart the First Minister today thanked emergency responders and those involved in the on-going clear up work as she visited Dumfries & Galloway with the Environment Minister in the wake of Storm Frank to see its impact first hand.

The Deputy First Minister also visited evacuated residents in Ballater with representatives from Aberdeenshire Council to hear about the local response to the flooding.

The visits come as the situation around Scotland improves, with a significantly reduced 21 flood warnings and 7 flood alerts and many people now able to return to their homes and have their power restored.

The scale of the recent events has been made clear as the Met Office confirmed Scotland has seen the wettest December on record and information from SEPA showed several rivers have seen their highest levels for almost 30 years, with the River Cree at Newton Stewart having the highest levels on record (since 1963) and the River Dee at Ballater having recorded the highest level for almost 100 years.

Ministers have held a further resilience meeting to co-ordinate updates from local areas, covering the on-going work to restore services, fully re-open the transport network and recognise the excellent local work to minimise and deal with the impact of Storm Frank.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

"We now know that this has been the wettest December on record and that Storm Frank saw record levels at rivers across Scotland. I have seen the devastation this has caused in Newton Stewart and my thoughts and sympathies are with all of those affected across Scotland.

"Local councils, emergency services and other responders have worked tirelessly to minimise the impact on communities, ensure the safety of people and are now working to help local areas recover. I offer them my deepest thanks for their efforts, which have no doubt spared us more significant damage.

"The aftermath of storm Frank has also presented us with some very difficult conditions on our transport networks. We are aware of the significant disruption due to flooding on the West Coast Main Line in particular and we are working with Network Rail and the train operators to ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum and a bus replacement service will take people between stations on the route.

"Along with my Ministerial colleagues, I received further progress reports from local partnerships at a resilience meeting today and am confident that the necessary work is underway to ensure affected communities recover as quickly as possible. We will continue to receive updates over the coming days as this work goes on."

Notes to editors

Background

The Scottish Government's resilience arrangements have been running 24/7 and will continue to provide Ministers with regular updates.

For SEPA live flood updates see www.sepa.org.uk/floodupdates or call Floodline 0345 988 1188.

To sign up for free local Flood Warnings and regional Alerts, or for more information and advice on preparing for flooding, use SEPA's Floodline site www.floodlinescotland.org.uk or call Floodline 0345 988 1188.

Members of the public can also use the recently launched Report-a-Flood site http://www.floodlinescotland.org.uk/report-a-flood

The full alerts, including the Chief Forecaster's Assessment and a map showing the areas included in the alerts, are available at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/warnings/

For real time journey information visit www.trafficscotland.org, follow @trafficscotland on Twitter or call 0800 028 14 14

The Scottish Government's Ready Scotland website provides the public with a range of advice and information on preparing for winter weather. Further information is available at www.readyscotland.org

Members of the public can also contact the Scottish Flood Forum, a charitable organisation funded by the Scottish Government that provides support for and represents those who are affected by or are at risk of flooding http://www.scottishfloodforum.org or call 01698 839021.