Page last updated at 11:33 GMT, Friday, 1 August 2008 12:33 UK

Clean-up begins in flood-hit town

Police station flooded (picture by Bill Cairns )
The police station in Kilbirnie was evacuated after the river burst its banks

A major clean-up operation is under way in the North Ayrshire town of Kilbirnie after torrential rain caused a river to burst its banks.

At the height of the alert on Friday morning, more than 30 firefighters were deployed to areas badly affected by flood water from the River Garnock.

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue said in some parts the water had been more than one metre deep.

It described the situation as "stable" and said the water was now receding.

Group Commander Steve Fitch, from Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, said: "We started to receive reports of flooding about 0750 this morning.

It's just devastation. My driveway is away, my two cars have been ruined and there's stuff floating about my garage
Lee Winyard
Local resident
"At the height of the operation we had 35 firefighters on location who were dealing with the affected areas.

"A Zodiac rescue boat was deployed in the town and the Scottish Ambulance Service was also in attendance.

"The water in the worst affected areas was more than one metre deep."

The fire service said additional units from nearby Dalry, Johnstone, Dreghorn, Ardrossan and Largs were dispatched on the request of the officer in charge.


Mobile footage of the flooding

One vulnerable resident from a sheltered housing complex in Mill Court was removed for safety reasons.

Eight other residents were moved to the upper floor of their building while efforts were made to relocate them.

Ambulance staff examined the residents and said there were no individuals giving cause for concern.

Officers from North Ayrshire Council are making arrangements to provide alternative accommodation.

Ian Burns, Group Commander from Strathclyde Fire and Rescue, said the situation was now "settling down".

"There was quite extensive flooding in the town centre area because of the heavy rainfall overnight, causing the River Garnock to overflow.

"The knock-on effect from that was obviously flooding in the lower-lying areas."

Local resident Lee Winyard lives in one of the worst affected parts of Kilbirnie, Muirend Street.

He said: "We woke up this morning about nine o'clock to find the whole street completely flooded.

"Luckily it has only started to come in the front door and the back door a little bit. Another couple of inches and it would have been right through my house.

Kilbirnie Bowling Club
The bowling green on Mill Road is completely under water
"But it's just devastation. My driveway is away, my two cars have been ruined and there's stuff floating about my garage."

Mr Winyard said all the houses on his street had been affected and people were now beginning to clean up.

Fire crews are still at the scene but the focus of their efforts is to help with the clean-up.

The River Garnock runs for more than 20 miles from its source in Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park to its confluence with the River Irvine at Irvine Harbour.

Along the way it passes through the towns of Kilbirnie, Glengarnock, Dalry and Kilwinning to its confluence with the River Irvine at Irvine Harbour.

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Your Pictures: Ayrshire flooding
01 Aug 08 |  In Pictures

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