Humza Yousaf has told Storm Babet victims it will be a “long road to recovery” as he visited a severely flooded town in Angus.
The First Minister arrived in Brechin on Monday to speak with residents and assess the damage wreaked by the storm.
During his visit, Yousaf told one local that the Government will “support as much as we can”.
Yousaf visited residents on River Street, the worst hit part of Brechin, after the River South Esk burst its banks on Friday.
Residents were urged to evacuate their homes after a “danger to life” warning was put in place.
The storm saw Scotland’s second and third ever red alerts issued by the Met Office due to extreme rain and wind.
Many families were forced to leave their homes due to the flooding and at least four people have died across the UK.
Multiple roads are still closed as well as trains services still being affected in the worst hit areas.
Speaking ahead of the visit, the First Minister said: “My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives to the extreme conditions caused by Storm Babet during what will be difficult time.
“I want to pass on my thanks to local authorities, volunteers and the emergency services for all their efforts in these extremely challenging conditions.
“The local community in Brechin, like others across Scotland, has come together to offer support to all those affected by the floods with Angus Council receiving hundreds of offers of alternative accommodation for those forced to leave their homes.
“The process of assessing the full amount of damage caused in all areas affected by the storm is now underway. This will take some time and we are working closely with local authorities to support the people and businesses affected.”
Conservative councillor Gavin Nicol, who represents the Brechin and Edzell Ward on Angus Council, warned that some families could lose their homes “permanently”.
Nicol called for more funding from the Scottish Government, telling BBC Radio Scotland on Monday: “I can tell you the repercussions of the flooding will take months and years to resolve.
“Angus Council, unfortunately, does not have the resources to do the job, it needs to to protect the residents.
“We really need finance from the Scottish Government in order to protect our residents, to rehome them.
“Some will be out for months, if not permanently.”
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