North-east residents are today counting the cost of the flash flooding that devastated their communities at the weekend.
Torrential downpours sent torrents of water pouring down streets, flooding homes and businesses and destroying roads and historic bridges.
Residents of Banff, Macduff, Turriff and surrounding villages were among those who looked in horror as the deluge struck.
The coastal community of Crovie was also hit, with muddy water plunging downhill through the heart of the village.
Aberdeenshire Council said the north-east would not quickly recover and described and said the repair of roads and bridges in particular would be a long term project.
Farmers Wilson Strachan, from Baulmaud Farm, and Philip Benzie of Gairnieston Farm, were among those who found themselves cut off by road from the surrounding world.
Mr Benzie said: “Around five or six bridges have been closed in our area – three we think have been totally wiped out.”
Gorracchie Bridge near King Edward was swept away, while the bridge on the Lower Cotburn to Litterty road collapsed.
Banff bridge was closed for a number of hours to allow the water to drain away, temporarily splitting the two communities, but surrounding roads remained closed throughout the weekend.
During the worst of the weekend rainfall, authorities took to social media to plead with drivers to respect “road closed” signs, amidst report of motorists finding themselves in difficulties having simply moved the signs aside and attempted to plough on through flooded roads.
Aberdeenshire Council’s head of roads Philip McKay said: “Many bridges in the area have been badly damaged and a number of smaller bridges on unclassified roads have been swept away entirely.
“It is vitally important that roads closed signs are respected as although flood water levels may have fallen, the roads may still be unsafe to pass.
“Bridges engineers have been out since the early hours carrying out inspections which may reveal further damage to some of our bridges.
“While it looks like the worst of the weather has passed and the immediate clear up has begun, repairs to effected bridges will be a longer term project.”
Macduff Nursery and Doodle Bugs will be closed today as their buildings have sustained water damage, though the primary will remain open.
Videos of a deluge of muddy water pouring through Crovie – which has experienced repeated flooding in recent years – went viral on social media.
In the aftermath, however, it was found that road drainage systems had worked pretty well.
Darren Wiseman was helping guide some of the burn water to the sea last night as his parents live in the village.
He said: “We’ve been out here digging out the burn to divert the water but really the water has been flowing in the right direction.
“I think two properties have flood damage but the village hasn’t been cut off.
“To people less able on their pins they may have been cut off for a short while on Saturday but I’m sure other areas are worse.”
People in Gardenstown, where significant measures have been introduced to protect the community from flooding and landslips, found those measures had succeeded.
Heavy netting has been pinned across patches of the hillside and though locals reported “a wee bit has slid down overnight”, the community was relatively unscathed.
Pictures of the beer garden and play area at Mormond Inn were also shared widely online showing the speed with which flood water passed through the village, but the pub remained open and it’s not thought there was any major damage.
Residents did, however, have to contend with “murky brown” water from taps on Saturday.
MP David Duguid last night urged drivers to be aware of any diversions and to take care on roads while the repair process gets underway.
He said: “Credit is due to the emergency services and the council for a quick response to close routes that had quickly become impassible.
“There clearly will be some repair work required in the King Edward area, where entire sections of road were simply washed away.”