Roads reopen after Storm Babet as £32,000 raised to help Brechin

River Street in Brechin which was hit by floods (Neil Pooran/PA)
River Street in Brechin which was hit by floods (Neil Pooran/PA)

Roads are beginning to reopen after Storm Babet hit Scotland, as more than £32,000 was raised by wellwishers to help residents of flood-hit Brechin.

The A90, between Forfar and Brechin, Angus, has been reopened in both directions from Dundee to Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, under a contraflow, after engineers were able to examine two “high-risk” structures hit by the storm.

Wild weather caused considerable erosion of the bridge at Finavon, carrying the A90 over the River South Esk, and a contraflow traffic management system was introduced to enable safe crossing until repairs are completed.

The storm has claimed at least seven lives across the UK, including three in Scotland.

Aberlemno Primary School in Brechin has yet to reopen after Angus Council said the B9134 was “no longer judged to be safe”, and a skip was provided for people to dispose of items from flood-damaged homes.

A GoFundMe page set up by Brechin Flood Relief has so far raised £32,369 to help families who were not covered by insurance, and one person even offered an empty flat for people left homeless.

An anonymous donor gave £2,500.

Storm Babet
A flood-damaged home in River Street, Brechin (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The gym at Brechin Community Campus was “half full” of items donated to help families in need.

Two roads in Brechin remain completely shut, including River Street which was devastated by flooding, and several unclassified roads in rural Angus are closed.

The A937 to Marykirk remains shut after being at the epicentre of the severe flood warning, and the A92 bridge north of Montrose, Angus, is also closed.

In Brechin, East Mill Road is shut, along with the A933 at Brechin Bridge while the B9134 Forfar to Brechin road has yet to reopen, and several rural roads are completely shut.

Donors, many with personal links to Brechin, have raised tens of thousands of pounds to help families who may not be covered by insurance following the floods.

The GofundMe page said: “When we factor in the cost-of-living rises and the costs of insurance, we are faced with the tragic fact that many simply cannot afford insurance.

“Brechin is the most fabulous community and we know people want to help those in need who due to reasons not of their making, have had their lives devastated.”

Autumn weather October 20th 2023
A fence panel washed away by floodwater rests against a car in Brechin during Storm Babet (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Angus Council posted on Facebook: “On the advice of the roads service and partner agencies, access to Aberlemno Primary School via the B9134 Aberlemno to Brechin is no longer judged to be safe.

“To ensure the safety of staff, parents and carers and pupils, the school will be closed on Tuesday 24 October. An online learning offering will be made while we attempt to secure access.

“A free school meal payment will be made to any family eligible on financial criteria.

“Repair work will begin tomorrow but it is not known how long these repairs will take. If required, alternative arrangements will be made for children to attend school and will be communicated directly to families.”

The storm claimed three lives in Scotland including that of Wendy Taylor, 57, who died after being swept into the Water of Lee, Glen Esk, on Thursday.

John Gillan, 56, also died on Thursday after a tree struck his van as he was driving on the B9127 at Whigstreet near Forfar.

And on Monday a body was recovered by police searching for a man who was trapped in a vehicle in floodwater during Storm Babet.

A search was launched after the man was reported missing in Marykirk, Aberdeenshire, on Friday.

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