Aberdeen flooding: Police declare 'major incident' as River Don bursts banks

Authorities have issued two 'danger to life' warnings, as residents are evacuated and a hole has developed in Aberdeen Airport's runway due to heavy rainfall

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The Independent Online

Dozens of homes have been evacuated in Aberdeenshire amid 'threat to life' warnings issued following heavy downpours and flooding. Emergency services have declared a "major incident" as they battle swelling riverbanks.

Flights were unable to land at Aberdeen Airport last night after "unprecedented rainfall" caused part of the runway to collapse.

Flooded houses at Port Elphinstone, near Aberdeen, this morning after the River Don burst its banks.

The River Don burst its banks and the River Ythan also threatens to overflow.

Residents in Aberdeenshire were put up in rest centres while a number of local hotels also opened their doors to flooding victims free of charge

Chief Superintendent Campbell Thomson said: "Over the past 24 to 48 hours, and indeed the past week, we have responded to a number of flooding incidents and co-ordinated the multi-agency response to the adverse weather.

"A major incident was declared due to the severity of the warnings in place and the potential for serious impact on communities.

"Our focus over the past 36 hours has been the Donside area, Keith to Huntly, Turriff, Inverurie, Kintore, Ellon and into Aberdeen including Riverside Drive and the Grandholm area. Additionally, we continue to support the recovery effort in Deeside, specifically in the Ballater and Braemar area, following the impact of Storm Frank."

Flooding in the village of Aberfeldy, Perthshire, Scotland

Management at Aberdeen Airport said around 20 people slept in the airport terminal on Thursday night as cancellations mounted and advised passengers to check with their airline before travelling to the airport.

Trains between Aberdeen and Dundee have also been cancelled due to the flooding. Police have urged people not to travel unless they deem their journey essential.

There has been little respite for the north east since New Year when Storm Frank brought flooding to villages around the River Dee.

A Met Office amber warning for heavy rain in the area remains until this morning.

Corbyn confronts Cameron over lack of reply on floods

A yellow warning for snow and ice is also in place for much of Scotland, Northern Ireland, north west and north east England.

Richard Brown, head of hydrology for the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa), said water levels around the River Don were "pretty exceptional".

He told BBC Scotland: "We have had a gauging station up at Alford for the last 42 years and it has exceeded anything we have ever recorded."

NHS Grampian have raised concerns over private water supplies in Aberdeenshire and urged residents to drink bottled water.

A spokesman said: "If a private well or spring has been covered by floodwater, proceed with caution and contact Aberdeenshire Council for advice.

"While waiting for an answer or if you are in doubt, assume the water is unsafe to drink and source bottled water."

There was some relief during the flooding as missing camper Terence Kilbride, believed to have been swept away by flood waters from the Dee, was found by police safe and well.

Scotland's Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: "The impact of this latest round of flooding is causing transport difficulties and putting properties at risk of flooding.

"The Scottish Government's resilience committee is monitoring the situation very closely and we have discussed the unfolding events and work to mitigate the impacts and ensure the safety of people in local communities."

With additional reporting by Press Association