The first phase of a project to protect Stonehaven from future flooding has been completed.
The £300,000 works on the Arbuthnott Drain have been finished, ensuring water can flow away quickly from the lowest point of the town’s High Street – one of the areas most susceptible to flooding.
Residents repeatedly called for Aberdeenshire Council to re-open the drain after the River Carron burst its banks in 2009 and again in 2012, destroying dozens of homes and businesses.
The local authority began work on the project in September, with contractor building a large inlet chamber and 229ft culvert alongside buildings and through gardens, designed to take excess water away from homes and to the mouth of the Carron.
As well as the drain works, screens have been installed along the Carron and the Glasslaw burn to stop debris, such as branches, clogging up culverts and bridges.
The work is part of the wider flood protection scheme for Stonehaven.
Local councillor Graeme Clark said: “We are always worried at this time of year that we might see further flooding like we have in the past, so to have the Arbuthnott drain part of the scheme completed, especially in time for Christmas, will come as a huge relief to a lot of Stonehaven residents.
“Although it won’t completely prevent all floods, hopefully this drain will help people sleep a little sounder at night knowing that if they are unlucky enough to be hit by flooding, these measures will at the very least reduce the impact.
“Although homeowners of course have a personal duty for flood proofing their homes, the council also has a duty of care to help alleviate the threat of flooding to the people of Stonehaven.
“I’m so pleased it’s been completed, especially before Christmas and of course the fireballs.”
Fellow Stonehaven councillor Peter Bellarby added: “I am very pleased that the Arbuthnott drain has been completed.
“It is part of the commitment that the council has made to address the flooding problem on the Carron.
“It will reduce the effect of any flooding that might occur. We also need the long-term flood alleviation scheme that the council is also committed to.”