3 November 2009
Volunteers worked round the clock to help evacuate vulnerable residents after heavy rain and burst riverbanks caused chaos in north-east Scotland, flooding dozens of homes.
Layton ThompsonEmergency response teams swung into action on 2 November as heavy rain caused havoc across several areas of Aberdeenshire. Ten volunteers in Huntly worked throughout the day to move more than 30 elderly residents from nursing homes caught up in the flooding to a local hospital.
First aid volunteer Caitlind Walker (19) was called out to respond in the early hours of the morning. She said: “We went straight to Huntly to assess how we could best help, and spent the morning transporting four elderly people in wheelchairs. We went back in the afternoon with our Red Cross ambulance to help evacuate nine more people in trolley beds.”
‘Safe and dry’
Caitlind, who also volunteered during the floods in Elgin last month, continued: “I’ve never seen the River Spey so high, and the weather has been terrible. I’m just glad I was able to help out – it was good knowing that the older people were settled somewhere safe and dry.”
Four Red Cross charity shops have also been also providing dry, warm clothing for those people who have been sheltering in the hospital.
Early hours response
Derek Pearce/British Red CrossIan Rideout, operations director, said: "We were also called out to Stonehaven in the early hours of Monday morning by the local authorities, and we sent eight volunteers and two 4x4 vehicles to provide first aid cover at the evacuation centre.”
He continued: "This is the second time in a month that our volunteers have responded to severe weather warnings here in north-east Scotland. Our trained volunteers are incredibly dedicated and will remain on standby to help those most in need.”