The streets of a Mearns town were partly locked down yesterday as the local authority practiced fending off a potential flood.
The “live” exercise was carried out by Aberdeenshire Council’s roads team and involved setting up Stonehaven’s flood protection barriers at four locations in the community which are particularly vulnerable during downpours.
Barriers were installed from the town’s Green Bridge along River Carron to Dunnottar Avenue and at Carron Terrace from its junctions with Arduthie Street and Cameron Street.
The exercise also took place along Arbuthnott Place from number 19 to the junction with the High Street.
Homes were devastated in Stonehaven in 2009 and 2012 when the River Carron burst its banks, with residents calling for protection ever since.
The council said the project was an opportunity to train front line staff, who would be called on to deploy the defences in the event of a flood, and also to check the condition of equipment.
Last night the council’s projects manager for flood and coastal management, Gavin Penman, said: “Today’s exercise to deploy the flood barriers in Stonehaven went very well indeed.
“All those involved found it useful and many lessons were learned, issues were raised and solutions were found.
“I have no doubt that the exercise has left us more able to respond to the threat of flooding in a timely manner, although, naturally, we hope to never have to put what we have learned into action.”
Conservative councillor for Stonehaven and District, Wendy Agnew, said: “I think it always helps to keep up to scratch so they know where to be and what to do.
“I don’t think as far as I know anybody had a problem with it, I think people appreciate we are doing things just to make sure that things are maybe better organised on the day if it does happen again. We don’t want it to, of course.”
In July the Scottish Government said it was content with the proposed £15million Stonehaven Flood Protection Scheme despite a number of local objections to the plans.
The proposed scheme involves building glass-topped flood walls about 6.5ft high and installing self-closing barriers along the
The river’s Red Bridge would be replaced, the Green Bridge moved, the White Bridge elevated and the Beach Bridge strengthened.
A public hearing on the defence scheme will be held at a future date.