Red Cross rescue teams today (Monday) evacuated 46 elderly residents to safety from a flood-threatened care home.
The drama happened this afternoon as the level of the rain-swollen River Deveron at Huntly, Aberdeenshire, rose dangerously high.
Volunteers and vehicles from Aberdeen and Elgin were drafted in to help a local Red Cross crew carry out the operation at The Meadows care home in the town’s Burnside Road.
The Highlands and North-East Scotland have been swamped by torrential rain over the past three days, causing widespread flooding.
Eight volunteers using a fully-equipped ambulance and three specialist patient transport vehicles ferried the residents from The Meadows to other care homes in the area and to Huntly’s Jubilee Hospital.
Ian Rideout, Red Cross operations director for Northern Scotland, said: “We were called in to help as soon as the river showed signs of bursting its banks.
“Our volunteers, who are all highly trained, helped care home staff move residents to the Red Cross vehicles to be transferred to alternative temporary accommodation, including the local hospital.
“The problem was caused by the continuing rainfall which has brought chaos to many parts of Northern Scotland since the weekend. Our volunteers are on standby to assist with any weather-related situations that arise. ”
It is the second time in less than a year that The Meadows care home has been evacuated because the Deveron was threatening to burst its banks. In September of last year Red Cross mercy teams were called in to assist move residents to safety.
Red Cross volunteers were in action round the clock at the weekend when torrential downpours washed out camping areas at the Tartan Heart music festival at Belladrum, Inverness-shire.
They cared for more than 60 people – many of them families with young children – in a makeshift rest centre set up in one of the performance tents on higher ground. Emergency supplies of blankets and heaters were brought in from a Red Cross store 22 miles away at Dalcross.
The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.
We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies
in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on
with their lives.