Evacuations in Eastern Scotland After Don and Ythan Rivers Reach Record Levels

Heavy rain between 07 to 08 January 2016 increased levels of rivers in eastern Scotland, causing flooding in the city of Aberdeen and surrounding areas.

The River Don in Aberdeen and the Ythan in Ellon both overflowed, forcing the evacuation of over 100 properties in Aberdeen, Port Elphinstone, near Inverurie, and Ellon.

Dozens of roads have been closed in Aberdeenshire and Tayside. Around 30 schools were also closed in Aberdeenshire as a result of the severe weather. A flooded sub station caused power outages in Port Elphinstone, Kintore and Ellon.

Nigel Goody, SEPA’s Hydrology Duty Manager, said in a statement on 08 January 2016:

“Persistent rainfall yesterday has affected much of North East Scotland from Fife to Moray –in particular areas of Tayside, Angus and Aberdeenshire. This has resulted in widespread rainfall totals of around 50mm and up to 70mm on higher ground. As these totals have fallen on areas which are heavily saturated and where rivers were already high from rainfall over the Christmas and New Year period, we are now experiencing extensive flooding to properties, utilities, transport infrastructure and farmland across the region.

“From working closely with partners in the emergency services and local authorities, we are aware that numerous communities have already been affected by flood waters, specifically Inverurie, Port Elphistone and Kintore on the River Don, and Ellon on the River Ythan. Extensive flooding is also ongoing throughout Aberdeenshire, Angus and Tayside, along the River Isla, the North and South Esk”.

Record River Levels

Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) said that the River Don recorded its highest flow in over 45 years, and peaked at Parkhill early on Friday 08 January 2016 with levels of 5.537 metres. The previous high was 4.168 metres, set in 2002.

Levels of the River Ythan in Ellon also exceeded previous records.

River levels remain high but are expected to slowly fall over the next 24 hours. However, further rainfall has been forecast for the Aberdeenshire area for 09 and 10 January 2016.

Flood Warnings

As of early on 09 January 2016, two severe flood warnings remained in place for the area, one for Inverurie, the other for Kintore.

Kintore

In Kintore, river levels significantly exceeded those experienced in 2002 and 2009 at the peak on Friday morning and are now slowly falling but remain dangerously high.

SEPA say that extensive flooding is expected to continue impacting properties and businesses including those in Castle Hill and Kingsfield Road. Many roads, including the B977, will remain impassable in and around Kintore.

Inverurie

River levels around Inverurie have also exceeded those experienced in 2002 and 2009 and are now slowly falling but remain dangerously high.

SEPA say that extensive flooding is expected to continue impacting properties and businesses including those in Port Elphinstone, along Old Canal, and Inverurie Paper Mill. The Waste Water Treatment Works and railway line will have been significantly affected. Many roads, including the B993, will be impassable in and around Inverurie.

Flood Help and Advice

SEPA say that residents in affected areas should remain vigilant. Advice and information is also available through Floodline on 0345 9881188 or via the SEPA Floodline website here.

Photos of the River Don Floods

Below are photos of the flooding River Don at Inverurie and Kintore, taken from the Aberdeen air ambulance. All photos courtesy of Ewan Murray, Scottish Ambulance Service, City of Aberdeen.

Flooding River Don at Inverurie and Kintore, 08 January 2016. Photo credit: Ewan Murray, Scottish Ambulance Service.
Flooding River Don at Inverurie and Kintore, 08 January 2016. Photo credit: Ewan Murray, Scottish Ambulance Service.
Flooding River Don at Inverurie and Kintore, 08 January 2016. Photo credit: Ewan Murray, Scottish Ambulance Service.
Flooding River Don at Inverurie and Kintore, 08 January 2016. Photo credit: Ewan Murray, Scottish Ambulance Service.
Flooding River Don at Inverurie and Kintore, 08 January 2016. Photo credit: Ewan Murray, Scottish Ambulance Service.
Flooding River Don at Inverurie and Kintore, 08 January 2016. Photo credit: Ewan Murray, Scottish Ambulance Service.

More Rain Forecast

The UK’s Met Office has issued a yellow level warning for rain in Aberdeenshire. The Met Office says:

An area of rain is expected to move northwards across Scotland on Saturday evening before becoming slow moving over the far north of mainland Scotland during Sunday. This will bring further accumulations of 10-20 mm over eastern Scotland with 30 mm over the higher ground.

Please be aware that with saturated ground this has the potential to prolong ongoing flooding impacts in eastern Scotland but is currently not expected to lead to renewed flooding issues.

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