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Last Updated: Friday, 25 June, 2004, 09:01 GMT 10:01 UK
Hopes for end to flood problems
Digger in Elgin
Steps were taken to prevent flooding
Council officials have been monitoring the River Lossie after heavy rain caused severe flooding in Elgin.

Some schools in Moray were forced to close and homes in the Lesmurdie area of Elgin were evacuated during the torrential rain on Thursday.

Eddie Coutts, Moray Council's convener, expressed hope that improved weather would ease the situation.

However, one resident who lives in the cathedral area, said she feared a repeat of the incident.

The council provided overnight accommodation for 20 people on Thursday.

Engineers dug up land along river banks to stem the flooding, an action praised by Mr Coutts who denied that it had been a panic measure.

It has to be said that we were looking at one day's rainfall causing nearly a repeat of what happened two years ago, in the summer
Angus Robertson
Moray MP
He said: "These were very controlled decisions. We knew exactly, from discussing it with our flood alleviation team, where the weak spots in the system may be.

"Not only here, but throughout the whole river system in Elgin."

Mr Coutts said he hoped there would be no further problems.

"We expect the weather to be fine today and the river has receded by some 5ft overnight," he told the BBC's Good Morning Scotland programme.

"I think there is absolutely no doubt that the emergency action taken by the council has minimised the degree of damage that has been done.

"No houses have been involved in any flooding overnight and only one building has been affected and that was a filling station on the A96."

However, Libby Mitchell said residents lived in constant fear of flooding.

'Human side'

"I do have to say council workers were magnificent. We saw sandbags much quicker than we ever did before," she said.

"However, we have to think about the human side of this. I spoke to a woman yesterday who was extremely worried about her relation who cannot get insurance unless she pays 5,000 excess.

"We are surrounded by vulnerable people, old people and ordinary people that are living on their nerves because of this."

Local MP Angus Robertson, who praised the emergency action, expressed concern that there was almost a repeat of flooding in Moray in 2002.

He called for a speeding up of the flood alleviation programme in Moray.

He said: "It has to be said that we were looking at one day's rainfall causing nearly a repeat of what happened two years ago, in the summer.

"I hate to imagine what things are going to be like after a winter with the snow off the mountains and much more rainfall."


SEE ALSO:
Summer floods cause disruption
24 Jun 04  |  Scotland
'Unworkable' flood plan attacked
21 Mar 04  |  Scotland
Questions asked over flood defences
17 Nov 02  |  Scotland


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