Heavy rains bring hope for flood-plagued householders

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THE heavy rain which fell on Bute last Wednesday may have left most of the island thoroughly drookit - but it might also bring about an end to a long-running flooding headache for residents of one area of Rothesay.

Crichton Road resident Colina Zavaroni was forced to call the fire brigade late that afternoon as a pool of water accumulated in the field behind her home before breaching the garden wall and flowing in torrents down towards her house.

A few doors along the street, Pat Parr endured a similar experience as a pool of water behind her garden wall grew in size before breaking through into the garden she shares with her upstairs neighbours.

Neither flood came as a huge surprise; indeed, Mrs Parr has put up barricades made from wooden planks and sandbags to try and ward off a problem which has been a constant headache since she moved into her home three years ago.

“We’ve been getting an avalanche of water from the floods,” Mrs Zavaroni told us. “In November my back garden wall came down because of the weather. I’ve spoken to Bute Estate, who own the field behind us, and they were full of promises, but nothing’s been done.

“If the fire brigade hadn’t come on Wednesday, my whole house would have been flooded.”

With residents’ frustration turned up several notches in the wake of last week’s downpour, Bute Estate’s recently-appointed factor Andrew Nicol visited the worst affected Crichton Road householders with contractor Ronald Robertson on Monday - and contacted us afterwards to say he was hopeful that a solution could be reached soon.

“The amount of rain we had last Wednesday was exceptional, and it wasn’t just a problem in Crichton Road,” Mr Nicol told us.

“Having said that, it has happened before, and there’s hopefully something we can do.

“I went to see the residents with our contractor, and told them what we’re planning - some of the work is investigative, so we know what we’re dealing with, and some of it is remedial.

“The drains can’t cope with that amount of water, no matter what you do, but I understand where the residents in Crichton Road are coming from.”

Following Mr Nicol’s visit, Mrs Zavaroni contacted us to say: “I’m encouraged this time - before it was like talking to a wall, but he actually seemed interested, and I’m very pleased he took the time to see us.”