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Emergency volunteers rescue flooded residents

8 August 2011

Emergency response volunteer talking on a radio© InfoEmergency rescue teams have evacuated 46 elderly residents to safety from a flood-threatened care home in Northern Scotland.

The drama happened today (Monday) as the level of the rain-swollen River Deveron rose dangerously high close to the home in Huntly, Aberdeenshire. The Highlands and north-east Scotland have been swamped by torrential rain over the past three days, causing widespread flooding.

Eight emergency response volunteers, using a fully-equipped ambulance and three specialist patient transport vehicles, ferried residents from The Meadows care home to other local care homes and to Huntly’s Jubilee Hospital.

Safe transfer

Ian Rideout, operations director, said: “We were called in to help as soon as the river showed signs of bursting its banks – and ensured all the residents were safely transferred to alternative temporary accommodation.

“The problem was caused by continuing rainfall which has brought chaos to many parts of Northern Scotland since the weekend. Our experienced volunteers are on standby to help with any weather-related situations that arise.”

It is the second time in less than a year that The Meadows care home has been evacuated because the Deveron was threatening to burst its banks. Volunteers were also called out last September to help move residents to safety.

Festival emergency

Emergency response volunteers were in action round the clock at the weekend when torrential downpours washed out camping areas at the Tartan Heart music festival at Belladrum, Inverness-shire.

They cared for more than 60 people – many of them families with young children – in a makeshift rest centre set up in one of the performance tents on higher ground. Emergency supplies of blankets and heaters were brought in from a Red Cross store 22 miles away at Dalcross.

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