Farming Insights – Winter Storms

Farmers, business owners and householders are totting up the cost of the devastation caused throughout Scotland in the wake of the storms over the last few weeks.

There have been numerous examples of charitable actions, neighbourly and friendly acts of kindness and communities working together to prevent damage from the flood waters and rivers that have burst their banks.

  • The Scottish Borders was one of the worst hit areas but Scottish Borders Council were able to give adequate warning and most businesses and households were reasonably well prepared. One large motor trader had approx. 2 ft of water in their premises. They had removed all cars from the ‘at-risk’ area as well as moving all transportable contents to a safe area of the premises. Obviously there was some damage to the premises but due to their quick actions the cost is likely to be only a tenth of that incurred about 10 years ago. Insurance staff called in at the peak of the flooding to make sure they were coping. There is no doubt that local knowledge and service were of paramount importance in ensuring prompt attention to the issues.
  • In the Northeast, shops took emergency clothing & supplies to the rescue centre for victims of the flooding; hotels provided hot food and dry rooms to rest in and the retained fire brigade worked throughout the night to minimise losses and evacuate those from houses which had been breached.
  • Where debris has been washed down the river, farmers were out with their machines to clear blockages from the bridges to let water continue flowing and used the same vehicles to rescue stranded motorists who had been caught by the ferocity of the water’s force.
  • People with empty properties have been in touch to offer accommodation to those who may need it.
  • Likewise, offers of available livestock housing have been made for those who may need to relocate cattle.
  • Local residents worked through the night to dig trenches to divert water flow from houses with many not affected lending a hand; assisting elderly neighbours and friends to protect their properties and were back again the next day to help with the clear up.
  • Social Media has been very effective in updating local communities – informing of road closures and what was happening within each area; especially when the local radio stations were directly affected by the flooding and had to come off air!

All of the above illustrate just some of the examples of how rural communities can work together in a crisis to the benefit of all and these actions should be applauded.

Any comments or questions?  Please contact Jean Arnott-Glennie on 07881 093485 or email [email protected]