Page last updated at 15:42 GMT, Thursday, 22 October 2009 16:42 UK

Tractor man missing after floods

Search/Pic: Ken McEwan
An RAF helicopter was called in to help the search. [Pic: Ken McEwan]

An air, underwater and land search was launched after an elderly man in a tractor was swept into an Aberdeenshire river during flooding.

A police diver unit was called to the River Don at the Don Bridge in Kintore, along with coastguard, ambulance and fire crews on Thursday morning.

However, the rising water level forced the search to be stood down in the afternoon on safety grounds.

An RAF rescue helicopter was also called in to look for the man.

The tractor was swept away during flooding

The tractor was found by the divers, but the whereabouts of the missing man was unclear.

The helicopter was searching the local area, as well as several miles downstream towards Aberdeen.

Grampian Police said relatives were being kept informed.

The incident happened as police warned of traffic disruption across Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Angus.

Work has been going on throughout the night and day to clear flooded areas.

The B974 was closed in the Banchory area and there were problems on the A93. Routes around Aberdeen Airport were also affected.

Flooded road
The water badly affected roads all across the region

Grampian Police said other routes badly affected included the B9170 between Oldmeldrum and Inverurie, the A93 between Drumoak and Peterculter, the Kingswells to Cults road, the A944 Hazlehead to Westhill road, and Great Southern Road southbound in Aberdeen.

Aberdeenshire Council said the worst affected areas for roads and properties had been Laurencekirk, Fettercairn, Stonehaven, Elrick, Pitmedden, Stuartfield and Potterton. Some sandbags had to be delivered.

Aberdeen City Council warned that its roads staff were being placed in danger by motorists driving past them at speed.

The volume of water has slowed efforts to clear roads.

Meanwhile, a lorry containing cattle overturned at the Inveramsay bridge north of Inverurie on the A96.

The driver received treatment and a vet was called to the scene to assess the animals.

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