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Stonehaven flood defence holds up against Storm Babet as other Scottish infrastructure still impacted | New Civil Engineer



The recently completed flood defence scheme in Stonehaven, near Aberdeen, has helped protect the town against Storm Babet which has been causing chaos for Scotland’s infrastructure over the past week.

The Stonehaven Flood Protection Scheme was completed on 23 August after works began in the spring of 2019. It was designed to protect homes and businesses which have previously been badly affected by flooding events around the River Carron.

This weekend the defences were able to protect residents of Stonehaven from flooding after Storm Babet has continually battered areas of the UK for the past week.

The creation of the defences included the construction of 2km of flood walls, the installation of two higher capacity culverts and alterations to five bridges. The project was undertaken by contractors McLaughlin and Harvey.

Storm Babet, a complex area of low pressure which developed to the west of the Iberian Peninsula, was named by the Met Office on 16 October.

Over the weekend, Scotland experienced some of the heaviest rain since 1891, according to Transport Scotland, and a series of severe weather warnings. These included two very rare red warnings for rain for Angus and Aberdeenshire, and three days of “avoid travel” advice from Police Scotland.

Scottish ministers thanked workers for getting much of the transport network up and running again ahead of today but a number of routes are still impacted.

Rail lines between Aberdeen and Dundee, Aberdeen and Elgin, the Fife Circle and Inverness and Wick are still closed due to the storm’s impact, while there are many line speed restrictions active across the nation’s network.

The A90 also remains closed between Dundee and Stonehaven pending structural inspections at various locations. Staff from Amey are working to open the road as soon as possible currently but have stated two bridges cannot be cleared due to water levels.

A statement from Amey said: “Two high-risk structures near Finavon are still outstanding as the water level and flow rate at this location are still too severe to allow any work to take place.

“The current speed and water levels are too high to allow divers to safely undertake investigations to assess the integrity of the structure.”

Work is also being conducted to reopen the A92 which remains closed between the Forgan Roundabout and the Melville Lodges Roundabout.

Scottish minister for transport Fiona Hyslop said: “Communities across Scotland have endured extremely challenging weather conditions in recent days.

“While our transport network was seriously impacted, we are now in the recovery phase and most of the network is returning to normality.

“This has only happened thanks to the teams across the network who have been working tirelessly in dangerous conditions since Thursday. On behalf of the Scottish Government I would like to express our thanks for their incredible effort.

“Of course such a devastating storm and such significant rainfall means there will inevitably be some ongoing disruption in the days ahead, especially with flooding on local routes and a new warning for ice now issued.

“We stand ready to assist local authorities where we can and would urge the public to remain cautious, plan ahead, and check before travelling.”

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