Support flooding in following Storm Frank

Communities across the region are trying to get back to normal following Storm Frank last week.

A number of towns across the region suffered severe flooding, power outages and road closures.

Some of the flooding was the worst local communities have ever experienced, with people and businesses evacuated from their premises.

The council is committed to supporting businesses that suffered as a result of the weather and help them get back to normal as soon as possible.

Teams of business advisers have visited all the towns who suffered from the flooding.

They were out knocking the doors in Newton Stewart, Carsphairn, Castle Douglas and Dumfries yesterday.

They visited all local businesses in these towns, speaking to owners and staff and asking what their needs are.

The advisers have also been providing information on what they should do following the flooding regarding insurance information, any funding that is available, banking information etc.

A plan of how to support these businesses further will be pulled together following these visits.

The post flooding clean-up continues across the region where skips have been provided in towns to assist properties dispose of any damaged items.

Teams will also be out to collect the sandbags and gel packs that were issued during the flooding as once these items have been used, they becoming condemned, so homeowners should not hold on to these items.

The streets have been cleaned of silt and debris so that they could open again. This clean-up will now move to parks.

A number of bridges were closed across the region that remained closed over the New Year.

They were not allowed to open again until engineers could carry out inspections and make sure they were safe.

A number of bridges around the Newton Stewart area remain closed until after these inspections can be carried out.

Councillor Colin Smyth, Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee said: “Communities across our region were badly hit as result of Storm Frank.

“However, members of the major emergency team including the council, fire service, police and coastguard worked round the clock to support communities; putting in place road closures to keep people safe to ensuring that our most vulnerable residents were looked after and received the care they needed, and evacuating hundreds of people from their homes and ensuring there were rest centres available for them.

“This was a massive operation in appalling conditions that really did stretch all agencies.

“We also have 57 community resilience plans in place in many towns and villages across the region and because of this we were able to communicate with local communities so they could prepare as best they could when the storm hit the region.

“There is no doubt that local communities rose to the challenge they faced; helping neighbours and looking after each other which shows the strong community spirit we have here in Dumfries and Galloway.

“However, now the flood water has largely dispersed, attention has now turned to the recovery operation.

“We have teams of business advisers out and about supporting as best we can those businesses who were so badly affected by the flooding.

“Our region’s businesses continue to provide services throughout this difficult time.

“I would like to encourage the public to support their local shop owners. The massive clean up of roads and play parks is also continuing.

“In the longer term we hope the Scottish Government will ensure funding is provided to put in place proper flood protection schemes in areas such as Newton Stewart.

“There is also real uncertainty over what, if any, additional financial support the council, businesses and homeowners will receive from the Scottish Government to deal with the huge cost of the flooding and we will be stepping up the pressure to ensure we get answers.”