Flood group looks at Ythan crossings

Ellon Flood Action Group is seeking assurances crossings are not having an impact on the River Ythan.
Ellon Flood Action Group is seeking assurances crossings are not having an impact on the River Ythan.
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A local group set up to prevent a repeat of the January floods is seeking assurances that a new footbridge at Ellon is not having an impact on the Ythan.

Ellon Flood Action has been looking at river crossings, including the most recent constructed, Boatie Tam’s Bridge.

We have learnt a great deal about the River Ythan since that dramatic night of January 8

Andy Lane Ellon Flood Action Group

Andy Lane, chairman of the nine-strong committee, said: “We need to be reassured that the equilibrium of the river has not been adversely affected by the building of this significant crossing.”

Mr Lane, whose group is from the Meadows area, one of most flood-affected parts of the town in January, is optimistic their own research, combined with information gleaned from Aberdeenshire Council and the enviroment agency SEPA, would result in a greater awareness and lead to the prevention of a similar incident.

He added: “We have learnt a great deal about the River Ythan since that dramatic night of January 8, including the absolute basics about the 40-mile long river which comes through a number of settlements before reaching the North Sea.

“There are 16 burns which flow into the river, and 10 crossings all of which need to be looked at if we are to take preventive measures.”

The committee has been in contact with other flood-affected settlements, and established that such a high level of the river had not been reached in the past 20 years, or perhaps in the last 50.

Mr Lane explained: “The river reached a height of 4.46 metres in Ellon, a full metre above the previous recorded high. We must find out why this happened, apart from a heavy rainfall.”

The group, which will now focus on the upstream defences, would welcome comments from any community who suffered when the natural defences failed to cope in early January.

In particular, they would like to hear from any group or individual with reason to believe the defences have been compromised in recent years.