by Alan Shields…
Scotland’s flood clear-up continued yesterday (MON) as a car was fished out of a river in Aberdeen.
Vehicle recovery experts and police divers were drafted in to help remove the red Audi A1 from the River Dee. The hatchback is believed to have been parked at the David Lloyd leisure centre – half a mile upstream – when Storm Frank hit 19 days ago.
The gym’s car park was badly flooded when the Dee burst its banks on December 30, with the sudden surge of water dragging cars down the river. Several submerged vehicles have been found as water levels go down. Police divers yesterday connected a long tow line to the Audi to allow a car recovery firm to pull it over to the riverbank.
The operation lasted for more than two hours as the original tow line was not long enough and extensions had to be used to reach the stricken vehicle. Meanwhile clean up operations were still ongoing across the north-east of Scotland following the devastating New Year floods. Royal Deeside was particularly badly hit by the heavy rain. More than 100 static caravans were caught up in the ensuing chaos when the Dee overran natural flood defences that have protected the village of Ballater for years.
Around 40 caravans are still believed to be missing or destroyed. The final bill for the caravan park alone is expected to top 1million pounds. Residents were also forced from their homes when the floods struck the area the day before Hogmanay. A week later Aberdeenshire’s other main river, the Don, recorded record high high water levels when it flooded homes in Inverurie. The final cost of winter flooding around the UK is expected to be several billion pounds. The Scottish Government has pledged 12million pounds to help with recovery and relief efforts.