The significant damage caused by Storm Babet at Dovecot Caravan Park has “devastated” its owners.
The family-run business in Laurencekirk has been operating since 1989 but has never experienced weather as extreme as the past 24 hours.
Davie and Adele Mowatt, alongside their son David Mowatt and daughter Lynsey Reid, have said the aftermath of the red-level weather which hit South Aberdeenshire is still “sinking in”.
They have lost seven of their static caravans and a further 20 have been damaged, while their tool shed has “vanished”.
“The worst weather we ever had was Storm Frank in 2015,” David said. “My mother has been here all her days and she’d never seen anything like that.
“This storm here was Frank and half again. It’s devastating.”
Storm Babet damage at Dovecot Caravan Park
Five residents and two touring caravans were staying at Dovecot when Storm Babet hit on Thursday.
“We ended up having to move one of the touring caravans at about 6pm and then I had to go down again at about 9pm,” David said.
“At this point we couldn’t move out the site so just had to go to the highest point.”
The worst of the weather struck the caravan site, located near River North Esk, through the night.
David and his wife Jackie Mowatt, who live nearby, could both hear the strong winds and the crashing river.
He said: “We did expect damage but did not expect it to be this bad. Seven static caravans are gone completely. They were all tied down and plumbed in, all the pipes are stripped off.
“I don’t even know how many are damaged, must be more than 20. We’ve just had to make the area safe, and turn off the water and electric.
“With the water in the river you’re absolutely powerless. There’s nothing you can do. We’re just thankful there were no fatalities or injuries.”
Recovering from Storm Babet
Returning to normal business following Storm Frank was a “lengthy process” for the Mowatt family but they are expecting this time it will take much longer.
“Back then we had to renew all the electric cables underground and have insurance companies come out, but we didn’t lose any caravans,” David explained.
“This is significantly worse, like nothing we’ve seen before. Now, we’ll just wait until the weekend has passed and access it from there for the massive clean-up.”
Follow all the latest weather updates on our Storm Babet live blog.