Stonehaven 'open for business' after coastal flooding
18th December 2012
Stonehaven is open for business despite severe coastal flooding which affected the town at the weekend.
Parts of the town were damaged by the severe weather early on Saturday (15 December) which resulted in around 25 residents being evacuated from two sheltered housing complexes and a B&B.
A major clean up operation has been under way in Stonehaven and much of the debris has already been removed.
A dedicated team of council staff have worked long hours to remove boulders, mud and other debris strewn across the beachfront, the promenade, the harbour and in some instances, the town centre.
Almost all affected businesses have now reopened in the town, only days before Christmas.
Area manager for Kincardine and Mearns, Willie Munro, said: “It is heartening to see how quickly the debris has been cleared away from Stonehaven’s streets.
“It has been a major task to clear up the debris in Stonehaven, but one which has been made easier with the support and aid of the local community.
“By the end of this week we should have a clearer picture of the cost of damage to council property. It will take much longer to determine the overall cost of damage to the town itself.
“We will do everything we can to provide assistance to people affected by the flooding, and have made an application to the Scottish Government’s Bellwin Scheme for financial assistance in the aftermath of the storm.”
The Maritime Rescue Institute in Stonehaven, which provides a vital lifeboat service along the north-east coast, was badly affected by the storm.
The MRI lifeboats were unable to respond to emergency callouts in the immediate aftermath of the storm, but after two days work, one lifeboat is now operational and back on station.
The charity is now concentrating hard on getting the rest of the boats up and running, and clearing the damage from their premises by Stonehaven harbour, and the adjoining Boathouse Restaurant which was also extensively damaged.
MRI CEO Ann Laing said: “We prepared as much as we could to protect ourselves, but we have never seen weather like that before.
“We work in the business of saving lives and there were no lives lost, which, given the extreme force of the weather, is an absolute miracle.
“We will work hard to restore our boats and our premises, but in the end this is just material and the fact that nobody lost their lives is the most important thing.”
Stonehaven’s coastal boardwalk was extensively damaged during the storm and has now been removed for repair.
Damage to the harbour appears to be less extensive than first thought, with superficial damage to the sandstone wall coping.
The Scottish Flood Forum charity, which provides support for families affected by flooding, will be in Stonehaven on Thursday, at the council’s housing office on Allardice Street from 9.30am until 2pm.
For more information on the Scottish Flood Forum go to www.scottishfloodforum.org.
For help and advice on flooding issues, go to: www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/flooding.
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