Page last updated at 15:50 GMT, Monday, 7 September 2009 16:50 UK

Flooding could cost council 5m

A resident is evacuated from her house after the River Lossie burst in banks in Elgin.
A resident is taken from her house after the river burst its banks in Elgin.

The floods which struck Moray could cost the local authority up to £5m.

About 100 people remain in temporary accommodation after being forced out of their homes.

The clean up in the town is still ongoing after the downpour forced the evacuation of hundreds of properties in Elgin and Fochabers.

Moray Council said it has a £5m excess on its insurance policy, but has not yet be able to calculate the true cost of Friday's devastation.

The council has also launched a £22,000 flood relief fund to help those who have been affected.

The fund, which is run by trustees from local businesses and charitable organisations, as well as councillors from the flooded wards, provides vouchers for essential household goods.

The council appealed for donations to help boost the fund.

Similar flooding problems happened in Elgin in 1997 and again in 2002.

Some residents want to know why the flood alleviation scheme planned for the town has not yet started.

'Out in force'

Moray Council said it was frustrated because it approved a scheme in principle three years ago.

Environment secretary and local MSP Richard Lochhead said it took many years to get such complex schemes off the ground.

Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham said new legislation would speed up the process in future.

She added: "In the meantime everyone's efforts should be focused on helping those affected by the floods back into their homes as quickly as possible."

A public inquiry into a scheme for the town begins later this month.

Meanwhile, Moray Council is trying to get people back into their homes as soon as possible.

It said officials were "out in force" in Elgin and Fochabers to help with the clear up.

Sewage contamination was being dealt with "as a matter of priority", the council said.

By Saturday evening, 44 households and 98 people, including private home owners, remained in temporary accommodation.

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