A clean-up operation is under way to repair seven flood-hit bridges in the north-east.
A month’s worth of rain fell in just seven hours across the region on Saturday, causing travel chaos and destruction.
Aberdeenshire Council has had roads engineers carrying out inspections to the seven structures which were damaged and remain closed north of Turriff, and into the King Edward area.
The clean-up process at the bridges has begun, with road chiefs at the local authority concentrating on the Millcroft Bridge at Plaidy.
Police were called to help with the travel and rain chaos throughout Saturday, and residents from three properties were left cut off after the bridge was swept away.
Sections of the A90 were shut between Fraserburgh and Peterhead after they became too dangerous to travel on.
The north of Aberdeenshire was worst hit, with 66mm of rain – the average amount for the whole month.
Aberdeenshire Council said the seven bridges swept away or damaged were between Millcroft and Plaidy, at Mill of Balmaud, at South Mains near Craigston Castle, at North Litterty near Craigston Castle, at Bridge of Gorrachie, at the Bridge of Bruntlands and at Bridge of Fortrie.
Philip McKay, head of roads for Aberdeenshire Council, said: “Bridges engineers have been out again to carry out further inspections, and as a result, have closed another one of our smaller bridges, which brings the current total up to seven.
“The closure that is currently causing us most concern is the Plaidy Bridge (Millcroft) which was swept away and as a result has blocked access to three properties.
“There is a track which would allow for vehicular access into the affected properties and our teams are currently working to bring that track up to a standard that will allow it to be used.
“We are also prioritising work around the King Edward area to ensure we can restore ease of access for local businesses and residents. Teams from across the council have been out today helping with the clean-up and updating us with any further damage they encounter.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our staff who have been out over the weekend working hard to keep people safe.
“Due to the number of affected bridges and resulting road closures, it will be some time before we know exactly how much the damage and subsequent clean-up will cost.”
Troup councillor Ross Cassie, whose ward has a number of the destroyed bridges, said he had full “confidence” in the council to get the road network open again.
He said: “There is still a lot to do considering the amount of bridges that are involved.
“The engineering works are going to have to look at what is required. I totally understand the frustration of the public but the roads have to be safe for people to use, which is why it is imperative that people don’t take risks and go where they are not supposed to.
“If the advice is to avoid a particular road, then people should avoid it, as the advice is given with a good reason. The bridges won’t be fixed overnight but I have every confidence it will be done as soon as possible.
“If we go back to Storm Frank, there was a huge amount of work done as soon as it was possible to do it, and I have no doubt similar efforts will go in to opening up the road network again.”
A spokeswoman for the Met Office said the wet weather was set to continue into October.
She said: “We have had some unsettled weather this past week and as we go into the weekend it is looking to still be unsettled.
“Any drier interludes will be short-lived and temperatures will vary.
“You will see cold nights and if there is a clearer day the temperatures might pick up a bit.
“For the rest of October we are looking at a fairly typical month, with wet and windy weather and some dry spells. There is some potential for fog and frost.”
Meanwhile, an eighth bridge has remained closed following a crash. It comes after the Auchmill bridge sustained serious damage after a suspected road crash last week.
The masonry parapet at the small crossing was knocked into the Craigston Burn, with Aberdeenshire Council forced to put an emergency road closure in place.
The local authority is assessing its next steps but said last week it was “likely to take some months” before repair works were organised.
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