The fourth anniversary of the 2009 Stonehaven floods is looming, and residents are worried that not enough has been done to protect them.
Aberdeenshire Council have been holding a public consultation exercise at Stonehaven Leisure Centre this week - it ends at noon on Saturday - to give householders an opportunity to look at long-term plans to reduce the risk of flooding in the town.
But yesterday morning (Wednesday), a group of concerned residents gathered outside the consultation, calling for several short-term measures to be put in place.
They included helping those in affected areas to be given some protection from further flooding, and asking members of the public to sign a petition to this effect.
The petition calls for several measures to be taken, including ‘‘the re-opening of the Mill Lade and culvert to its full capacity, the seaward wall at 32A High Street to form an effective escape for the water, and the mouth of the Carron to allow it to flow freely again.”
Local resident Frieda Burns, whose home was flooded in 2009 and again in December last year, told the Leader that they were not against the proposals being made by the council.
She added: “The council proposals are good, and they must happen.
‘‘The problem is that, for the next three or four years, we will remain vulnerable.
‘‘ We have been told that we probably will be flooded again - that is a terrible indictment for a council to say.
“We will be left with boarded up shops and empty homes, and we will no longer have the lovely attractive town that we have now.”
Fellow resident, Cynthia Leslie, who joined several others outside the Lesiure Centre, said: “We are here to let the people of Stonehaven know that these relatively small measures could be carried out by the council now.
‘‘It would give people a bit of confidence and reassurance that something is being done. It is very stressful to live with the constant fear that you will be flooded every time it rains.
“This is something that affects everyone in this town, not just the people who have been flooded. If it happens again, businesses will close, people will leave and house prices will plummet.”
Local businessman John Briggs said: “We are all in favour of the scheme being proposed by the council, we think it’s a really good idea.
“However, the problem we’ve got is that - four years on since the first flood - nothing has changed in the town to alter what will happen if we are faced with similar weather conditions.
“People are living under a terrible strain because every time it rains they wonder if this is going to be another flood. They can’t sleep and are getting stressed.’’