‘What about us?’

EMOTIONS were running high at Portlethen Community Council on Tuesday evening, when local residents were given the chance to quiz Aberdeenshire Council’s head of roads and landscape services, Philip McKay, regarding flooding in the town.

Homes in the area of Alder Drive and Gorse Circle were badly affected during flooding in December, and some householders told Mr McKay that not enough is being done to prevent further flooding in the future.

One member of the public said: “Our lives are hell. This is the third time our property has flooded, and we are out of our home for another year. We will never get it sold.

“No emergency services would help us that night as they were all in Stonehaven. I was terrified.”

But Mr McKay said that there was no way that the council could guarantee that flooding won’t happen again, asdding: ‘‘It is impractical and impossible to say we can do something which would ensure it didn’t happen again.

“I have to balance the needs of everyone, I have other needs to take care of and there are 4000 other homes who are also at risk of flooding. No one likes to hear this, but the responsibility for protecting your property is your own.

“The main issue with the flooding in the area comes down to an existing private bridge further upstream.

‘‘We have been looking at options to alleviate the problem but the ultimate solution lies with the owner of that bridge.”

Mr McKay urged home owners in the affected area to take preventative measures, and added that the local authority will offer help by carrying out free assessments and giving advice, and offering flood gates at a reduced rate.

He agreed to liase with a flood action group which has been set up by residents.