Residents in parts of the north-east of Scotland have been told to remain vigilant over the next two days after heavy rain caused record river levels and severe flooding across the region.
Dozens of homes were evacuated in Inverurie, Port Elphinstone and Ellon in Aberdeenshire as the swollen River Don sent flood waters racing down the streets on Thursday night and Friday morning.
Water also poured from the River Ythan, prompting the emergency services to mount an operation to rescue residents.
The Keith, Huntly, Turriff and Kintore areas, as well as parts of Aberdeen, were among those affected by the flooding. Record water levels on the river left villagers across the area assessing the damage and counting the cost of the clean-up.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will visit the north-east tomorrow to set out details of Scottish Government support for those affected.
“My thoughts continue to be with all those affected by flooding,” she said on Twitter.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) said it is now expecting river levels to fall gradually, and that there will not be further impacts on the scale seen earlier this week.
But a spokesman warned there is still a possibility of “residual impacts” in Kintore and Inverurie, where two severe flood warnings remain in force.
Aberdeen City Council has urged residents to keep alert, despite the area expecting some respite from the bad weather over the weekend.
A spokeswoman said: “The Scottish Environment Protection Agency has suggested that river levels in the city will not rise any further and will start to decrease gradually over the course of the day. However, residents in the Granholm and Culter areas are advised to remain extra vigilant over the next 48 hours.
“Weather forecasters and Scottish environmental officers believe the north-east is due for some respite from extreme weather over the weekend – but Aberdeen City Council advise all residents to remain cautious.”
Gauges in Haughton, just outside Inverurie, measured the Don at 5.6m (18.37ft) – the highest level for 45 years – while it measured 5.5m (18ft) at Parkhill in Aberdeen.
In Ellon, the Ythan stood at 4.4m (14.4ft) at its peak, 1.2m (3.93ft) above the previous record level in 1983, according to Sepa figures.
Flooding in the north-east also brought major travel disruption, with busy roads closed and trains south from Aberdeen cancelled.
And there were two school closures in the city as a result of flooding – Kirkhall School and Culter School.
Part of the runway at Aberdeen Airport was damaged by the “unprecedented” rainfall and some passengers spent the night in the terminal as flights were cancelled. The affected area has now been repaired and flights have resumed.
Meanwhile, the serious flooding brought out the “great community spirit” in Inverurie as people forced from their homes were put up in a local hotel.
Around 40 people stayed in the Strathburn Hotel in the village free of charge as the owners David and Elizabeth Barrack opened their doors to those in need.
All 27 rooms – which can cost up to £125 a night – were full with more people sleeping in lounge chairs and the floor of the hotel.
Mr Barrack approached police on Thursday afternoon to tell them there was accommodation at his hotel if necessary for local people.
He said: “We’ve had people sleeping here, there and everywhere. A pregnant woman arrived at about 1am and we had no more rooms but a young man at the bar said he would move his stuff and slept on the floor to give her the room.
“There is great community spirit, everyone is talking to each other and it’s been very good actually. I went down to the police station yesterday and told them if anyone needed accommodation to send them up to us and the emergency services have done a good job.”
Police Scotland, who declared the flooding a “major incident”, confirmed tonight that rest centres set up in Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen are now being stood down.
“Everyone in the affected areas has been accounted for and there have been no serious injuries,” a spokesman said.
The latest emergencies came as work continued to support the recovery effort in Deeside, particularly in the Ballater and Braemar areas, following the impact of Storm Frank.