Nicola Sturgeon visits Newton Stewart to witness flooding devastation

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been in Newton Stewart today to witness the flooding devastation in the town caused by Storm Frank.

Heavy rain continued to pour as she visited shops and businesses devastated by the floods.

Ms Sturgeon said some people faced a “long recovery road” ahead of them.

She said: “The impact is devastating for people, it’s absolutely heart-breaking.

“This is probably the worst flooding episode that Newton Stewart and much of this region has experienced, for some people, in living memory.

“On the other side of that, the response has been heroic.

“Emergency services, volunteers, members of the public, the council, working together. There’s a sense here of real community spirit.

“But there’s a long recovery road ahead for some of the people I’ve been speaking to.

“One of the reasons I’m here is so that I can see it for myself, so we can make sure we are doing everything we reasonably can to help people with that recovery.”

In Victoria Street, local business owners were sweeping out the remains of the water from their shops.

A fire officer wades through flood water in Newton Stewart yesterday. Picture: Danny Lawson

A fire officer wades through flood water in Newton Stewart yesterday. Picture: Danny Lawson

Workers at a home decor store were throwing damaged wallpaper and blinds into a skip.

Another skip was piled with white goods such as cookers that did not survive the flooding.

Sandbags remained outside shops as fire and rescue service crews pumped away water and helped residents with the clear-up.

Locals said it was the worst flooding in memory.