Call for greater effort over areas not protected by flood schemes

Floodworks held firm (www.rotorworx.co.uk)

A Labour councillor has called for greater efforts to protect homes and businesses that are not covered by existing flood alleviation schemes in Moray.

The call comes as the people throughout the region set about repairing the damage caused by Monday’s storms which at one point threatened to overwhelm flood defences.

Elgin City North councillor Barry Jarvis welcomed the success of existing flood alleviation systems and in particular the as yet incomplete defences in Elgin.

He said: “Monday was another hard worrying day for many who live in the path of the River Lossie.

“I spent a number of hours down at the Brewery Bridge with a number of worried residents watching levels creep up as contractors moved heaven and earth to plug the gaps in the scheme.

“These individuals did a power of work and there is no doubt in my mind that many of those residents not flooded out owe both them and the other countless individuals involved in the response a debt of gratitude for their actions.”

However, several residents and business were still forced to flee their homes as they were engulfed in flood water – and now face months of work to repair their damaged property.

The village of Dallas was one of the worst hit communities, the village having been completely cut off in what is thought to have been the worst floods it has endured since 1945.

Homes in Pluscarden Road in Elgin were also hit when a section of the River Lossie burst its banks – leaving resident Graham Lees home under three feet of water. Mr Lees said he had flood barriers attached to his doors but the water came up through the floor of his house.

Mr Lees said that he had exchanged a series of emails with Moray Council over concerns he had: “I’m angry because what happened was unnecessary. A total of £85million is being spent on floodworks in Elgin – if only £100,000 of that had been used to protect banks around here then my family would not be in the position they are now.”

Councillor Jarvis expressed concerns over the “considerable” areas in Moray who with no existing protection suffered badly and has called for renewed efforts to identify issues that caused problems for residents.

He said: “It is regrettable that there were a considerable number of those in areas not included as part of schemes suffered considerable damage.

“It is important that the Council works with these residents and relevant authorities to improve drainage and identify the other issues that have contributed to the problem in these areas.

“It would be all too easy to look at the robust defence put up by the flood scheme not only in Elgin but other areas and think that our job is done – but we still need to do work to work in areas still suffering to ensure that we continue to do everything we can to help all those affected by flooding in Moray.”

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