Army helps clear Storm Frank debris from North-east bridge

The squaddies clear up the remains of the caravans.
The squaddies clear up the remains of the caravans.

Around 100 people are still not back in their homes after flooding earlier this year.

And a councillor today said that should be the next mission for the local council, after the army turned up to help in a military-style clean-up operation, breaking up caravan debris from a bridge in Ballater.

Councillor Geva Blackett welcomed the news the soldiers had begun battling to remove the vans at the Royal Bridge in Ballater.

Cllr Blackett, who represents the area, said it meant the picturesque town could now look forward to it being business as usual for the tourist season, but added around 100 people were still without a home.

She said: “This clean-up is coming to an end, now we need to look towards the future.”

 

The historic stone bridge was right in the firing line of Storm Frank and was hit by a number of caravans as the River Dee burst its banks at the end of December.

Rubble from at least three vehicles wrapped around the north-most pier of the structure.

helping hands: The mangled remains of the caravans at a   parapet  of  Royal Bridge. Inset, top right, the aftermath of Storm Frank in Ballater, below, the army clear away the debris.

Eight soldiers from 2 CS Battalion REME used a truck with a winch to pull a caravan chassis from the river bed and lift the mangled remains of the vehicles back on to dry land and into a skip.

In a joint operation with Aberdeenshire Council, squaddies started to cut up and remove debris from around the base of the bridge.

 

Last month councillors approved emergency funding of £3 million to cover the cost of flooding across Aberdeenshire, despite the bill expected to reach up to £7.6m. The army operation was set to be completed by today.

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