Stonehaven businesses: 'Our hearts go out to the people of flooded Brechin'

Boy rescue
Brechin was one of the areas worst hit during Storm Babet

Business people in Stonehaven who have endured flooding have said their hearts went out to the people of Brechin hit by Storm Babet.

Brechin, in Angus, was one of the areas to suffer the most flooding devastation during the storm earlier this month.

Businesses in Stonehaven, further up the coast, have suffered years of flooding, but new flood defences helped keep the water at bay.

Some said they felt a mixture of relief and sadness after Storm Babet's impact.

The Met Office issued a rare red "danger to life" weather warning for the east of Scotland ahead of the storm.

Three people died in Scotland as high winds, torrential rain and severe flooding hit Angus, Perthshire and Aberdeenshire.

Murray Watson, owner of Stonehaven's Carron Fish Bar, said they had been repeatedly flooded in the past, but escaped damage this time around.

Murray Watson
Murray Watson from Stonehaven's Carron chip shop said they avoided flooding with the latest storm

"We have seen it before, we have lost a lot of money, but to see that (flooding) happen to people in their homes is the next level above that," he said of the impact in Brechin.

"My heart goes out to them. It will take years for them to rebuild their lives.

"I think from our perspective it was the first time we have not been flooded with a weather warning. We were expecting the basement to flood. It felt like Christmas come early."

He added: "There was a lot of scepticism here. The flood defence system seems to have worked. Brechin is complete and utter devastation so we are grateful here."

Stonehaven harbour during Storm Babet
Stonehaven's harbour took a battering from the sea during Storm Babet

Work on the project in Stonehaven began in March 2019, but its completion was delayed by revisions to the design and construction and phases.

It was finally completed in August.

Bob Michie, manager of Stonehaven Pet Shop, also said flooding had been an issue in the town for many years.

"The sea front took a battering, but we missed the worst of it," he said of Storm Babet.

Bob Michie
Bob Michie said flooding problems had been bad for many years

"I can understand what they are going through," he said of Brechin. "It was really bad. I know how they feel.

"There's no chance a lot will be back in before Christmas, they have to get dried out. It's a shame.

"I was glad we missed that this time. It was a nightmare."

He added: "I do not know how Brechin can prevent it happening again. It will need a lot more money, which nobody seems to have."

Aberdeenshire Council said of the Stonehaven scheme: "In preparation for the potential impacts of Storm Babet on the levels in the Carron Water, the gates on the recently completed flood protection scheme were closed.

"During the period of the storm, the river was contained within its channel.

"Further analysis will be undertaken as part of the recovery phase to assess the actual performance of the scheme relative to the pre-construction modelling."

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