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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 June, 2004, 17:56 GMT 18:56 UK
Summer floods cause disruption
River Lossie
The River Lossie burst its banks in two places
Homes have been evacuated and schools closed after torrential rain caused flooding in the north east of Scotland.

The weather has also led to disruption for travellers, with roads and one rail line being closed.

Four schools in Moray were closed and homes in the Lesmurdie area of Elgin were evacuated after 71mm of rain fell in 36 hours.

Sandbags were sent to the scene of previous flooding along the rivers Spey and Lossie.

Gardens and parks were also dug up to make temporary barricades.

Rest centre

The decision to evacuate homes was taken by the crisis group which was set up during the last major floods in Moray in 2002.

A rest centre has been opened at Elgin High School for those affected.

The River Lossie was reported to have burst its banks on Thursday afternoon in two places in Elgin.

A large number of sight-seers have created traffic problems at the east side of Elgin
Chief Inspector Alan Smith
Police said the river had flooded to the rear of the cathedral at the east end of the town, as well as at the west end, where Oldmills Road is totally flooded.

ScotRail shut part of the Aberdeen to Inverness railway line and the main A96 was flooded between Mosstodloch and Fochabers.

The level crossing at the Chivas distillery at Keith was reported to be flooded.

Moray Council and Grampian Police have been alerting householders and businesses in parts of Elgin to possible risks.

Chief Inspector Alan Smith also urged people not to gather to watch the flooding.

Gardens and parks were dug up to make temporary barricades
"A large number of sight-seers have created traffic problems at the east side of Elgin this afternoon which has created difficulties," he said.

"We would advise people not to travel into Elgin unless their journey is absolutely necessary."

Information on the areas being affected can be obtained by phoning the hotline number 01343 562525.

A Moray Council spokesman said householders and businesses had been contacted to alert them of the flood risk.

"The council's immediate priority will be to strengthen flood defences in areas of high risk," he said.

Moray Council has come under fire recently over claims it has been slow in implementing a multi-million pound flood prevention scheme.

Work is due to start on minor schemes this year, but the authority has admitted it could be a further two years before Elgin is fully protected.

'Unworkable' flood plan attacked
21 Mar 04  |  Scotland
Questions asked over flood defences
17 Nov 02  |  Scotland

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