Government cash promise as Moray copes with flood aftermath

Flood clear-up continues (

While the millions of pounds paid for flood alleviation works in the region went a long way to averting even greater disaster, dozens of homes and business properties were still severely damaged by flood water.

Hardest hit was the village of Dallas where residents did all they could to protect their homes with little outside help, the community completely cut off by flood water after the River Lossie had burst its banks.

Yesterday afternoon SEPA lifted their flood alerts for all areas in Moray – but flood water remained in many areas as the clean up continued.

Paul Wheelhouse, the environment and climate change minister, warned that people should be wary as river levels will remain high: “The recent rainfall has caused some of the worst flooding in years.

“People should be aware that because of the amount of rain we have had, river levels will remain high – even though for the immediate period we do not anticipate that we will see any more heavy rain.”

The minister paid tribute to rescue services and local people throughout Moray’s communities who “acted swiftly to minimise the impact of rising water levels.”

Moray’s MSP, Richard Lochhead, added his praise, saying: “Since the severe flooding affecting parts of Moray earlier this week comments from people around the region are confirming that where the multi-million pound flood schemes are in place they have worked well, including in Elgin where some parts of the scheme are still under construction.

“It seems that hundreds of properties have been spared from flooding as a result. It is, however, of no comfort to others who have been flooded, whether that has been surface water flooding or from the Lossie in the case of Dallas, where the water levels were unprecedented in recent memory.

“I commend the work that has been done and continues to be done on the flood schemes which has done an excellent job but we also need to look at other areas and see if there are things that can be done to provide more protection wherever possible.”

Elgin City North Councillor Mike Shand, who sits on The Moray Council’s Flood Alleviation Sub-Committee, added his tribute, saying: “I know many constituents who have been flooded out repeatedly but who have been able to return to dry homes as a result of the work that has been done.

“I particularly commend the work of Morrisons and Council staff and the emergency services who variously plugged temporary gaps in the Elgin scheme where construction is ongoing, who helped evacuate folk and who have generally been doing all they can to help people.

“I also commend the community spirit which is always there in times of aversity.”

Adding his voice to calls from local Labour councillors that more needs to be done to protect homes and businesses that are not covered by the new flood alleviation schemes, Elgin City South councillor Graham Leadbitter said: “Unfortunately, and in spite of the Elgin Flood Scheme working well, there have still been a number of homes and businesses who have been affected by flooding from sources other than the Lossie – whether that was from the Tyock burn or from surface water.

“In New Elgin we still see major surface water flooding where drainage systems can’t cope and we need a renewed effort and focus to try and sort this ongoing issue from both the Council and from Scottish Water who have significant responsibility in this area.

“For people affected water is water – it doesn’t matter where it comes from and we need to find an effective way of resolving these flooding problems that are outwith the flood scheme.”

Last night Moray Council announced that Elgin Community Centre, which had been closed after the ground floor was flooded, would be partially reopened today.

A spokesman said: “Arrangements have been made to provide access to the upper floors in the centre which were unaffected.

VIP Childcare will reopen from Thursday while the ground floor is likely to remain closed until further notice.”

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