Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

‘When the 2016 floods came, we were ignored… We still are’

Floods in Kemnay
Floods in Kemnay

When the waters of the Don began pouring into Kemnay on the night of January 7, it sparked a crescendo of noise from the banging of doors and the blasts of car horns.

Resources across Aberdeenshire were stretched as the mighty river spilled into the streets of communities up and down its length, with some 130 homes and 16 businesses in Inverurie, Port Elphinstone and Kintore hit.

But, both then and now, the stricken residents of the 47 flooded households in Kemnay admit to feeling ignored during the floods which ushered in 2016.

Kemnay residents Alan and Estelle Davies show damage to their home
Kemnay residents Alan and Estelle Davies show damage to their home
Kemnay resident John Nicol shows damage to his home
Kemnay resident John Nicol shows damage to his home

The deluge in the Donside village was not only caused by the rising waters of the Don, but in the Stuart Crescent, Fyfe Park and Victoria Terrace areas by water overflowing from drains and sewers which couldn’t cope.

And now, in the Kembhill Park area of Kemnay – where homes were filled with roughly a foot of water from the neighbouring river – residents are calling for immediate remedial action.

In this place, the ruin of almost 20 homes has been blamed on a gap to a flood barrier which runs along the riverside near their homes, but stops at the foot of a pumping station.

Residents say it was within this gap in the bund that the water which flooded their homes spilled through.

Now they are hoping Aberdeenshire Council will consider extending the flood defence fully.

“It has just been a nightmare, a bad, bad experience,” said Alexander King, who has lived in the Kembhill Park area for almost 40 years.

“My wife and I were in our beds. I opened the curtains, looked out the window and it was just a sea of water outside.”

Before she was carried to safety, Mr King’s wife, Muriel, managed to rescue cherished photographs of their grandchild as 9in of water made its way inside.

“Yes it could have been prevented,” Mr King added. “If the bund had carried on like it should have been, it [the flooding] would have been stopped”.

Kemnay floods
Kemnay floods

On the morning of January 8, it came down to a busload of helpers from Premier Coaches to clear up the blocked drains in the area.

John MacNicol, 65, hopes to be back in his flooded Kembhill Park home in the next few months.

He said: “After the event, we found out that, more or less, the emergency services were overstretched and couldn’t come and help us.

“In the end, it was a transport company that provided pumps to pump us out. We were sort of left on our own as a tail end of the system.

“We hadn’t been predicted to flood by the council, so therefore, there was no plan for us.”

Kemnay residents after the floods
Kemnay residents after the floods

Ken Ledingham, chairman of the Kembhill Park Flood Prevention and Resilience Group, said: “What we would like the council to do, and I know they have got a whole lot of demands in the rest of the Aberdeenshire area, we would certainly like a barrier which continued from where this one leaves off to go around the side of the pumping station.

“We don’t think that by joining up this barrier, it would actually have any great knock-on effect for other folks further down the river.”

The home of Estelle and Alan Davies in the area is still in the process of being dried out.

Mr Davies said: “My wife is convinced it is going to happen again, but I’m not because I have seen what has happened and it could be remedied.”

Stephen Archer, the council’s head of infrastructure services, said all issues were being logged and explored by the council as part of its flood recovery process.

He said: “It is looking at the river, the flow, the water levels and actually taking a slightly bigger view. It takes a bit of time which I can accept is a bit frustrating.”

Floods in Kemnay
Floods in Kemnay

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]