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Recovery continues in North East

Published: 8 Jan 2016 13:45

Ministerial resilience meeting focuses on helping communities.

The First Minister has chaired a further meeting of the Scottish Government's resilience committee to hear how local communities affected by the severe flooding overnight in the North East are being supported.

The record levels of rainfall have led to record flows in some rivers meaning they burst their banks once again onto saturated fields causing damage in local communities.

The committee met this afternoon to discuss the impact of the extreme flooding and local work to deal with consequences and help residents who have had to leave their home. The First Minister also confirmed that she will be visiting the area tomorrow to outline further Scottish Government support.

SEPA has confirmed that the River Don recorded its highest flow in over 45 years and flows also exceeded previous records for the River Ythan in Ellon. This led to properties being flooded and disruption to local roads and rail services. Rivers have now peaked, although water levels remain high and the situation is being closely monitored.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

"The unprecedented weather we have seen across Eastern Scotland has had a devastating impact on many people in our communities – with families forced to leave their homes and businesses fighting to protect their premises.

"Again I am impressed by the efforts of the emergency responders who are working round the clock to protect our communities. The Scottish Government is committed to supporting this effort and I plan to outline further assistance tomorrow when I meet those affected.

"I have also heard about the work of transport agencies who are doing everything possible to get the North East moving again after the significant damage to transport infrastructure.

"Network Rail have maintenance teams positioned at various locations monitoring flood waters, embankments and structures along with pumps to alleviate any flood damage. ScotRail also have customer service staff around the network assisting customers with support from their customer service centre as the rail services recover from the earlier line closures. On the trunk roads, pumps and sweepers are being used to clear routes with incident support units in the worst affected areas.

"The Met Office is warning of snow and ice risks in the South of Scotland and staff at the National Traffic Control Centre will continue to actively monitor conditions and provide real-time information on the Traffic Scotland website and Twitter feed.

"Our trunk road operating companies have gritters and patrols out where required but motorists should listen to police advice, drive to the conditions and be aware of the possibility of disruption."

The Scottish Government will continue to work with responders and will do everything to ensure they have the support they need to help the North East of Scotland return to some level or normality. People should also check transport operators' websites before they begin their journeys.

Notes to editors

SEPA's flood updates can be found by visiting http://floodline.sepa.org.uk/floodupdates

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

The flood protection scheme funding has been made via the Local Authority Capital Settlement.

More information on the Bellwin Scheme: http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/DFM-triggers-the-Bellwin-Scheme-20f6.aspx