One week after Bertha charities fight to restore their services

Victoria House – 8cm of water entered the building

A week after Moray was hit by the remnants of Hurricane Bertha staff manning a community support hub in Elgin are still battling to restore vital services.

Charities and support groups based at Victoria House on Victoria Crescent were flooded out during last week’s storms – many of them involved themselves in helping people facing similar circumstances around Moray.

Damage to the building has been extensive and brought a halt to normal services as staff clear our water damaged furniture and seek to dry out the building. Vital communications and IT equipment has been damaged leaving groups based on the lower floor of the building unable to provide support to the public.

David Townsend, who is a voluntary service co-ordinator for Moray Handyperson Services explained: “Our primary concern just now is that people may not even be aware that the building was hit by the flooding.

“Victoria House was hit hard and large quantities of office equipment damaged by flood water – bookcases, display boards and electrical equipment had to be thrown out and will need to be replaced once the building has dried out.

“Members of the public who may have been trying to contact us will not have been able to do so because our telephones are down – but groups are pulling together as you would expect and doing all we can to restore normal services.”

Volunteers moved quickly last week to try and minimise the damage helped by a team from Springfield Properties.  Mr Townsend said: “We are very grateful to the Springfield Properties staff whose help reduced the impact of the flood greatly.

“Insurers have been in and surveyed the damage, giving us permission to remove all water damaged furniture and equipment.

“However, people are calling in at Victoria House surprised to find that we have been hit by the flooding.  We are currently unable to follow up on referrals but we aim to restore normal service as soon as possible.”

As a result of the damage staff from the Crossroads charity moved temporarily to their Nairn office before moving to nearby Elizabeth House on Victoria Crescent, while the British Red Cross have managed to carry on from Victoria House under difficult conditions.

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