FLOODING events in Stonehaven in December last year have made it clear to residents of the Town that the 2009 flooding was not a freak event and that it is a very real threat to the Town and, unfortunately, is likely to happen again.
In response to this, Stonehaven residents have come together and created a flood action group who will work with a variety of agencies, including Aberdeenshire Council, to make sure that measures are put in place to protect the Town.
The group, having only been formed at the start of the year, have been hard at work setting up a committee and preparing a presentation for last week’s flood meeting in the Town. With a committee of 21 and over 40 people attending the first meeting there has already been a large interest in their work and they have now set out a number of aims which they are hoping to work towards, in conjunction with other agencies, over the coming months.
Vice-Chair of the group, Greig Walker, who was a victim of the 2009 and 2012 flooding in Stonehaven,, explained that at the moment they are focusing on short term measures.
He said: “At the moment we are looking at the short-term measures. What can we do now to protect people’s homes and businesses? If this does happen again we want people to be prepared, so we are trying to get every property protected.”
As well as getting protection measures in place, they are also looking at ways to minimise the chance of flooding, with a variety of options being examined.
Mr Walker said: “We are looking at if there is anything we can do to stop the water getting to the homes and businesses.”
Another aim is to get a flood warning system in place. Currently Stonehaven does not have a designated flood warning system and river level monitors on the Carron are not in real time. The group are hoping that a warning system will ensure that the community is warned in time prior to a flood event and can therefore do everything within their power to minimise damage.
As well as working with interested agencies, the group are hoping to work with the whole community to see what can be done. In particular they are hoping to include everyone who lives within the catchment areas of the rivers.
They are also concerned with the coastal flooding which struck the Town in December and are looking at ways to work with with agencies to tackle that issue.
Another key aim is to keep the issue at the forefront of peoples minds so they can ensure something is done and progress is made towards there overall aim- the development of a large flood alleviation measure in the Town.
This is the groups main aim, they hope that by working together as a large group with one concern they will be able to ensure that something gets done and that the local authority and other parties will take their concerns and ideas seriously.
THE BIG FIX
Mr Walker said: “In the long term, we want the big fix, we want to be able to sleep at night and we don’t want our children to grow up worrying every time it rains- that’s the long term aim.”
The group has set up a website which will be kept up to date with what is going on and there will be areas on the page designated to different groups who have an interest in the flooding, there are also forums set up allowing discussion to take place and the site will be kept updated with what the group is doing. The website can be found at www.stonehavenfloodaction.org the group is also currently developing a Facebook page.