Richard Lochhead pledges ‘concerted action’ after seeing storm devastation

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COUNCILS are trying to count the cost of the destruction wrought by Saturday’s “perfect storm”, as the clear-up continues in communities the length of Scotland’s battered east coast.

Rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead pledged “concerted action” to deal with the aftermath of the storm surge, as he spent yesterday touring three damaged North-east ports.

Lossiemouth in Moray and the Buchan ports of Peterhead and Fraserburgh were among the communities hardest hit by the combination of massive seas, a high tide and gale-force winds.

In Lossiemouth, a 50ft section of harbour wall collapsed, and in Peterhead, two fish-processing plants were destroyed.

Mr Lochhead said he had been shocked by the scale of the destruction. He said: “Storms of this power and magnitude are a frightening experience for those closest to the destruction and there is a great deal of relief that there has not been significant injury or worse in our local communities. The communities and emergency workers deserve a great deal of credit for their response in a time of adversity.”

Thirty people who were evacuated from their homes in Peterhead have been allowed to return to their properties.

But in Stonehaven, 14 sheltered housing residents whose homes suffered severe flood damage have been moved to temporary accommodation in an old people’s home ,while 11 others have moved in with family and friends.