River Dee bursts at highest level since ‘Muckle Spate?’

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As the remnants of Hurricane Bertha battered the North-east this week, the River Dee saw water levels rise to its highest since 1990.

On Monday morning, the level of the Dee reached 2.9m at Mar Lodge - the highest level recorded since the river reached 2.7m 25 years ago.

Flooding was reported across Deeside with a ‘moat’ forming round Braemar Castle. Livestock were moved from the area to avoid the water.

Roads were closed between Ballater and Braemar and Lumphanan and Alford, with local diversions in place.

A local resident even suggested it was the worst flooding since the infamous ‘Muckle Spate’ of 1829.

Cllr. Geva Blackett said: “Bertha has caused havoc all over the region’s roads - the biggest diversion is for folk in Braemar who have to travel via Blairgowrie which is an 85 mile journey instead of the usual 17 miles. While many of us have been inconvenienced we shouldn’t forget that the council, Police and SEPA have been busy monitoring the situation and ensuring public safety.”

Ballater Caravan park was evacuated on Monday owing to flooding.

Site wardens organised a quick evacuation and refugees from the site gathered in Victoria Halls, where they were helped by the community. Ballater resident Marybell Macaulay organised food, drink and overnight shelter.

Cllr. Blackett added: “This freak storm exemplified all that is great about the community in Ballater.’’