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Scottish ministers visit storm-damaged east coast ports
Published:  18 December, 2012


Scottish Ministers have been updated on the aftermath of an extreme weather combination that caused significant damage to east coast ports in Scotland over the weekend.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead visited the harbours of Lossiemouth, Peterhead and Fraserburgh, while Transport Minister Keith Brown saw the storm effects at North Berwick.

A highly unusual combination of south easterly gales, low pressure and high tides affected east and northern coastal areas on Friday and Saturday.

Mr Lochhead said: The weather that battered east Scotland in recent days was unprecedented and widely regarded as the worst the local area had experienced in many decades. I saw first hand the damage caused including smashed seawalls, flattened factories and a wrecked play park illustrating the magnitude of the storm.

I met with the harbour authorities, as well as local businesses and council representatives, at Lossiemouth, Fraserburgh and Peterhead three of the worst affected ports and I commend them for their quick response.

Many in the local communities have helped with the clean up work along seafronts and I thank them for their efforts. And not only those in these larger coastal towns, but also the many small communities that have also been effected.

We are working in close partnership with local authorities and agencies as the full impact in assessed and we stand ready to provide assistance. That can include our emergency harbour fund, which is available for helping with urgent repairs.

Speaking after visiting North Berwick Harbour, Transport Minister Keith Brown said: "I was hugely impressed but not in the least bit surprised by the community spirit on show in North Berwick. While some people are understandably still coming to terms with the impact of the storms, they have rallied together and are demonstrating a determination to get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

"There has clearly been a considerable amount of damage caused by the huge waves and exceptional conditions. Having spoken to those who were caught up in the storm, they believe the conditions were some of the worst in living memory, damaging sea walls that have stood for over 150 years.

"Like my Ministerial colleagues and officials, I will continue to work very closely with councils, community groups and agencies to provide assistance in any way we can."

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