Residents in Garmouth fear their homes have been rendered worthless after nearly a week battling repeated floods.
The River Spey has poured through the streets of the Moray village three times since Tuesday evening as ice and snow upstream melts.
Yesterday water levels reached their highest as water submerged the local golf course, came close to pulling large trees to the ground and turned roads and footpaths into torrents.
Garmouth residents live in fear of repeated floods
Sandbags were deployed once again by residents in response to the floods – which are becoming increasingly common since an embankment upstream of the village breached several months ago.
The changes mean the river is breaching its banks at lower levels with floods lasting longer as a result.
Moray Council has already commissioned a survey to examine how water is flowing at different flood levels in the area.
However, the results and any possible recommendations are not expected for several months.
Meanwhile, locals in Garmouth are counting the cost of the repeated floods while some have had bags packed for several days in case they need to flee their homes.
Garmouth resident David Mackay said: “I’ve been at it since Tuesday. Thankfully the house has not flooded, but that’s entirely down to my own effort.
“None of us are saying we want a long-term fix, we’re realistic, but more regular maintenance of the river bank is needed and there are things that can be done to persuade the river to move.
“Nobody would want to buy my house now. Over the last 35 years, I wouldn’t say its bankrupted me, but I’ve got no private pension left because of all the repairs we’ve needed.”
Concerns floods have made it impossible to sell homes
It is understood that one house sale in the affected area of Garmouth fell through in recent months due to the increase risk of flooding.
Yesterday residents reported water pouring into the village on Tuesday evening before another incident on Thursday.
Levels began to rise again late on Saturday evening with locals remaining awake through the early hours to defend their homes.
Several pumps could be seen attempting to keep gardens from becoming completely submerged while the road was closed at the village hall.
Jim Mackie, secretary of Innes Community Council, organised talks between agencies last month in an attempt to encourage action to protect the village.
He said: “We have been predicting this now for years. Now the river has burst through it’s just making a beeline straight over the fields, over the golf course and towards the village.
“It’s the third time this week. We accept the Spey has always come down and flooded but it’s now happening more often and for longer with more water.
“The council is saying they are doing studies. The answer has always been in the past that they either don’t have the authority to do the work or they don’t have the money.
“House prices at the bottom of Garmouth have just gone. Who would want to buy there? People will never be able to sell their home.”
Further upstream from Garmouth the River Spey could be seen rushing towards the sea while spilling into fields near Boat o’ Brig.
However, no major disruption was reported amid flood warnings issued by Sepa as far as the Kingussie area in the Highlands.