During August Andrew wrote to Aberdeenshire Council regarding the recent flooding in Stonehaven, he asked several questions following queries raised with him at a surgery following the flood. The response from Aberdeenshire Council is below.
Dear Mr Bowie
FLOODING IN STONEHAVEN
I refer to your letter dated 24 August 2020 to the Chief Executive, regarding flooding in
Stonehaven. This has been passed to me to respond to and I would offer the following reply.
In response to the specifically mentioned matters:
Consideration of an additional drain cleaner
The flood event on Wednesday 12th August 2020 was a surface water/flash flooding event.
Rain gauges in the area recorded a considerable volume of rainfall falling in a short period of
time. In the worst affected areas, around the usual full monthly rainfall for August fell within only
three hours. It is also important to highlight that urban drainage systems have limited capacity to deal with
intense surface water accumulations. For example, road gullies have capacity to deal with a 2-
year return period flood event (i.e. an event with a 50% chance of happening in any one year).
Early indications are that the event on 12 August was considerably greater than a 1 in 200-year
event (i.e. an event with a 0.5% chance of happening in any one year). Therefore, the drainage
system would have been overwhelmed, regardless of the condition of the road gullies.
Therefore, given these facts and considering current budget restraints facing Aberdeenshire
Council, the purchasing of an additional gully emptier is unlikely.
Acceleration of the completion of the flood defences
Aberdeenshire Council has recently agreed with the Stonehaven Flood Protection Scheme Contractor McLaughlin and Harvey, that they can work a seven day week should they wish, in an effort to accelerate the completion of the works programme, following the delay caused by Covid-19 pandemic and other site related impacts.
Investigating other flood protection measures
Aberdeenshire Council are currently working on a Surface Water Management Plan for Stonehaven, to investigate issues and try to identify drainage improvements to the existing system and what occurs when these systems are overwhelmed (as discussed previously). It is recognised however, that measures will likely need to be done in partnership with Scottish Water, who are responsible for the sewer network.
Whilst I sympathise with the risk of flooding continuing to be experienced by Stonehaven businesses and residents, we would emphasise that the responsibility for protecting individual properties lies with the property owner. We would therefore recommend consideration of purchasing property level protection in the form of flood gates and vent guards. Aberdeenshire Council retains a stock of a small selection of these products and is willing to sell them to the public at cost price. The prices reflect the discounts available to the Council through bulk purchasing and are likely to be less than can be obtained by purchasing direct from suppliers.
In the meantime, I would be suggesting residents and businesses speak to the Scottish Flood Forum for further advice and also refer to following document as given in the weblink below, with regards improving Property Level Resilience.
I hope that this response is of assistance and will allow you to respond to your constituents as necessary.