Two multi-million-pound flood protection schemes have been backed by local councillors.
Inverurie, Port Elphinstone and Insch have been impacted by severe flooding for generations due to their proximity to waterways such as the River Don, River Urie and the Shevock.
In May 2016, just months after Storm Frank caused millions of pounds worth of damage throughout Aberdeenshire, the council agreed to carry out studies into flood risk in the communities to try and find the most efficient, and cost-effective, solution to future-proof communities against the threat of further flooding.
Now council officers have come up with a pair of preferred options to help protect Inverurie and Port Elphinstone for an estimated £11.3 million, and Insch for around £4.2 million.
The plans include the construction of large embankments, new culverts, flood gates and other major alterations.
At yesterday’s Garioch area committee meeting, members backed the two schemes which will be considered further by the infrastructure committee at a later date. If approved, they will be submitted to the Scottish Government for funding approval.
Around 80 properties were damaged by floodwaters around Inverurie and Port Elphinstone as a result of Storm Frank.
Areas particularly affected included Canal Road, Canal Crescent, Riverside Park, where homes were left under several feet of water.
Amongst the measures in the preferred £11.3 million scheme for the region would be a 787ft long embankment around Kirkwood Commercial Park, a 7.5ft high flood hate on Keithhall Road underneath the railway bridge.
East Garioch councillor Glen Reid yesterday asked officers if the proposals could result in additional flood pressures on Kintore, further down the River Don, but was assured they would not have any adverse effects.
In Insch, where flooding has been recorded in the village since 1864, the preferred option would involve embankments, culverts and more designed to protect the likes of the Market Square, the Bennachie Leisure Centre and Insch Golf Club.
West Garioch councillor Victoria Harper said that although flooding problems in Insch have not been as immediately “visually apparent” as in other communities, such as Inverurie or Ballater, they have been a consistent issue and welcomed the officer’s proposals.