A nurse who rebuilt her life in Brechin says she burst into tears when she returned to her ruined flat after Storm Babet flooding.
June Soutar, 60, left her ground-floor flat on East Mill Road on Thursday, believing that she would be able to return the next day.
But she has been left sleeping on her daughter’s sofa and says her insurance company has told her that it may be months before she can get home, due to the level of damage at her property.
She says she may also be offered accommodation by Angus Council outside of Brechin, but that would leave her further away from her 91-year-old mother, Betty, whom she helps care for.
Brechin nurse rebuilt life after New Zealand move
June, who is a senior charge nurse at Stonehaven Community Hospital, had already decided to evacuate before council officers told her to leave at around 4pm on Thursday.
She was going to be looking after her one-year-old granddaughter, Ruby, through the night and had worried that if the worst did happen, they would not be able to get out.
June said: “It was really hard walking back into the flat (after the flooding).
“I lived in New Zealand for years and came back here with nothing in 2019.
“I had just got myself back on my feet again, replaced all my second-hand furniture.
“I burst into tears; everything is ruined – photos of my kids when they were little kids, all the sentimental things.
“I never thought it would flood at all.
“I only took things for a couple of days, I never expected it to be like that.
“I’ve got a couple of tops from the top drawer and underwear, my documents and jewellery, but there’s nothing else to take.
“My daughter left her car at mine so her car has been flooded and she has been using my car to get to her work, as her car has been written off.
“It was my late dad’s car so it has sentimental value too.”
June reunited with cat 3 days after Storm Babet flooding
When June left home her cat, Ziggy, had been out.
She did not think anything of it at the time but three days later, there was still no sign of him.
To her relief, he eventually turned up on Sunday night.
June, who also has two dogs, said: “The cat was out at the time (of the flooding) – he comes in and out and he was out when we left.
“One of my neighbours later thought he saw him and I thought he would come back when things had calmed down – he was so scared.
“He’s now living with my other daughter.”
Friend hopes to raise £5,000
June’s friend of 30 years, Helen Murray, has now set up a GoFundMe page with a target of £5,000 to help her get back on her feet.
Helen wrote: “(June) has always been the type of person to lend a hand to someone in need, both in her personal life and through her career as a nurse, despite having experienced many hardships herself.
“Having worked hard to rebuild her life and home, my heart breaks that she now needs to start again.
“Any donations, no matter the amount, are so appreciated.
“Help me to show June how much we value the wonderful person she is when she needs a helping hand the most.”