A PRIORITY repair list following a weekend of storm damage across Ross-shire is now being drawn up.
Highland Council is taking stock of the damage to its eastern coastline following storm surges which resulted in damage to existing coastal defences and a number of piers and harbours.
Staff from the Council’s Transport, Environmental and Community Services were deployed throughout the weekend to respond to local flooding issues and clean up the debris resulting from the storms.
Technical staff are now in the process of assessing structural damage and prioritising repair works.
The areas affected include Portmahomack, Balintore, Cromarty, Rosemarkie, Nairn, Wick, Helmsdale, Brora, Golspie and Embo.
Councillor Graham Phillips, chairman of the Council’s TEC Services Committee said: “I would like to pay tribute to the efforts of staff, the police and the fire and rescue services in responding to this exceptional weather event.
"I can assure those affected that the Council is currently assessing the level of damage and will be producing a programme of essential repairs.
"We need to prioritise as much as possible to ensure that emergency works are done as soon as possible. More detailed surveys will be required of our piers and harbour areas, including underwater surveys where necessary.”
The Council has been clearing debris and assessing the storm damage at:
The sea wall at Balintore was breached, along with damage ot existing coastal defences, and assessment is under way.
Damage at Portmahomack was also inspected today, while debris and damage at the South Suitor footpath at Cromarty is also being assessed.
In Rosemarkie debris and minor damaged to the foreshore footway was experience and at Nairn the public promenade suffered lifting of some tarmac, damage to walls and washing away of the embankment.
Massive waves hit Rosemarkie at around high tide on Saturday. Journal reader Paul McGowan said: "My wife and I went down there about 2pm to take our dog for a walk only to be confronted with these large waves and no beach to speak of. I took several shots of the waves before we went to seek out an alternative walk."
Damage was also caused at:
- Wick – Sandbags were distributed locally prior to the storm. Debris on the road north of the harbour has been cleared. Some tarmac lifted on road south of the harbour. Wick Harbour Service Bridge has been examined for structural damage.
- Helmsdale harbour (Council owned) experienced some minor dmage to the harbour roads was assessed today, mostly debris and small areas of lifted tarmac were experienced.
- Minor damage was experienced on the Brora coastline, where some debris was washed ashore.
At Golspie around 100m of railings were washed away and some heavy slabs lifted along the promenade. The council is assessing the area for public safety and the potential costs of repairs caused by the damage.
A sea wall on the perimeter of a private static caravan site was breached and widespread flooding was experienced. The Council is assessing the sea-wall defence with a view to ameliorating the flooding in the area.
Neil Gillies, Highland Council’s Director of TEC Services added: “As some of the damaged areas, such as at Golspie promenade, are widespread and it is simply not possible to cordon off the affected areas.
"We urge members of the public to take care and be wary of areas which have been affected by the storms, especially during the holiday period when many people take to the outdoors for walks.”
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