Stonehaven's flood-hit homes evacuated

Emergency services have been dealing with major flooding in the Aberdeenshire town of Stonehaven.

About 100 homes were searched by the fire service after the River Carron burst its banks and about 40 were evacuated.

Residents said the worst of the flooding occurred overnight into Sunday and water levels were waist-high.

Environment protection agency Sepa has put 31 flood warnings in place, mainly in Perthshire, Angus and Aberdeenshire.

Some routes in central and east Fife were closed. The A90 was hit in several areas, and flooding also closed the A85 at Comrie, and the A92 at Ardestie.

Rail services have been disrupted because of a landslip near Cairnrobin level crossing, between Montrose and Aberdeen. A replacement bus service is now operating between Dundee and Aberdeen.

A Network Rail spokesman said there was up to 3ft (1m) of water on some parts of the tracks, and it was unlikely that the route between Dundee and Aberdeen would reopen on Sunday.

Stonehaven
The High Street in Stonehaven was hit by floods overnight

Serco NorthLink Ferries warned that, because of high winds, sailings between the Northern Isles and Aberdeen - which have not run since Thursday - would not resume until Sunday night.

The sailing from Aberdeen to Lerwick is now scheduled to leave between 20:00 and 24:00, but there will be no stop at Kirkwall.

In Brechin, residents in the River Street area were placed on alert as the waters of the River South Esk rose, threatening a repeat of the flooding experienced in the town in October.

Tayside Police later released an update, saying water levels had receded, but added that they would remain in the area to answer any concerns from locals.

A rest centre, which had been set up in the town's High School for residents who wanted to leave their homes, was closed on Sunday evening because it was no longer needed.

In Stonehaven, a rendezvous point for members of the public was set up at Market Square and a rest centre established at Mackie Academy, although all evacuated residents later secured temporary accommodation with family or friends.

David Fleming, a member of Stonehaven's community council, said the area had been hit by persistent heavy rain for a few days, and it had got much worse overnight into Sunday.

He told BBC Scotland: "Some of the water from the fields above the town just came right down the main road and into the High Street and flooded to a depth of about waist height or more.

The Angus town of Brechin has been hit by floods overnight
The Angus town of Brechin was also hit by floods overnight

"A significant part of the town has still got water in it and in the part that hasn't, there's a whole lot of mud and debris on the street."

The BBC's Steven Duff said the High Street was still badly flooded on Sunday afternoon, with water reaching car bonnets and raw sewage on the street, along with other debris.

Jill Paterson, who lives on the town's High Street, told BBC Scotland: "I woke up about 04:45, there was a few car alarms going off in the street.

"When I looked out the window, you could see the water right down the middle of the street. It was just this kind of brown, gungy water."

"When I went to the bathroom, which is at the back of the house, the brown water was coming up through my bath and through the toilet. My heart was thumping in my chest."

Rescue teams evacuated residents from Bridgefield in Stonehaven
Rescue teams evacuated residents from Bridgefield in Stonehaven

Police said there were no reports of any injuries and it is understood water levels were now falling and the weather was improving.

Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse chaired another meeting of the Scottish government's resilience group.

Afterwards, he said: "Tomorrow I will visit Stonehaven to see the extent of the flooding, meet residents who have been affected and thank local people for their efforts.

"Across the country, in locations affected by flooding such as Arbroath, Brechin, Stonehaven, and in the Northern Isles which have been affected by severe winds, determined work has been happening at local level to support members of the public at what has been a testing time."

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