Flood threat prompts evacuation of Huntly care home

Red Cross volunteers worked throughout yesterday afternoon to help staff evacuate 41 elderly residents from a care home – less than a year after floods swamped the same building.

Aberdeenshire Council warned people in the Meadows area of Huntly to leave their houses as persistent rain led to a steady rise in water levels on the nearby River Deveron and the neighbouring Meadows Burn.

The Red Cross used an ambulance, three patient transport vehicles and a specially equipped emergency Land Rover to ferry elderly residents from the Meadows Care Home to other care homes in Huntly, and as far afield as Insch and Banff.

Last November the River Deveron burst its banks and water overflowed the burn and flooded local houses and the nursing home.

Last night local people called on the council to carry out a proposed flood-prevention scheme.

Residents had been advised by the local authority to leave their houses and take temporary refuge at the town’s Gordon Schools. They said they had been warned to be out of their homes by 8pm as a high tide threatened to raise the River Deveron to danger level within a few hours.

Council workmen arrived at the residential area during the day with lorry loads of sandbags.

In Sycamore Place – which was submerged in feet of floodwater, mud and debris only 10 months ago – John Cobban and his wife Yvonne carried all their furniture upstairs in case their home was hit this time. Mrs Cobban said: “It’s only four months since we moved back in and already we have the threat of our house being wrecked by floods again.”

An Aberdeenshire Council spokeswoman said last night: “Short-term flood alleviation schemes are all in place. Yesterday morning staff were checking all culverts were clear. Long-term schemes further upstream are being looked at and a report will go before the council’s area committee in due course.”