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Red Cross rescuers called to Belladrum festival floods

7 August 2011

More than 40 Red Cross volunteers – including members of the swift water rescue team – were in action early today as torrential rain washed out the Tartan Heart music festival site at Belladrum, Inverness-shire.

Some parts of the sprawling site, where several thousand people were camping, were under inches of water following constant downpours during the night.

The alarm was raised in the early hours by organisers, who woke campers to warn them that areas of the site were starting to flood.

Red Cross volunteers and staff, who had been on first aid duty and running a shop at the festival, helped organisers turn one of the performance tents on higher ground into a rest and evacuation centre for flooded-out campers. By 5am, more than 60 people – mainly families with young children – were being cared for at the makeshift centre.

Volunteers bring emergency supplies

Emergency supplies of blankets and heaters were brought in from a Red Cross store at Dalcross, 22 miles away, to help bring some comfort to the stricken festival-goers.

Ian Rideout, Red Cross operations director for Northern Scotland, said: “The fields at Belladrum were already soaked after heavy rain on Thursday and Friday. A series of torrential showers overnight on Saturday and into this morning saturated the ground, causing localised flooding.

“The festival ended last night and those still camping are heading home today. Roads in the area are passable but many vehicles on the festival site are bogged down, stranding their owners.

“As well as our volunteers, we have three specially equipped Land Rovers and other specialist 4x4 emergency response vehicles on site to help. Our swift water rescue team are equipped with inflatable rafts to move people and equipment across water and mud to our evacuation tent.

“We have a field hospital on site, staffed by first aid volunteers, a doctor and two nurses.”

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