As we were recovering from any excesses on Hogmanay or New Year’s Day, our feeling of bonhomie was interrupted by a looming crisis. It rapidly became clear that Kintore was about to face a huge challenge.
Water levels in the River Don and the Tuach and Torry burns were rising and the forecast was for several days of rain.
In any crisis, good communications are vital and so we turned our minds to how we were going to handle this at Kintore.org.uk. Our decision was that we would direct people from this website to our Facebook page
, with a prominent splash on the front page of this website providing redirecting links.
The reasons for this decision was that Facebook can be quickly updated by a number of people using computers, or mobile devices. Perhaps more importantly, Facebook allows members of the community to post comments and information.
Since we already had more than 2,000 followers for the Kintore Facebook page it was clear that most people in Kintore were either members of Facebook, or would know someone that was.
That potential of the interactivity was perhaps best seen at about 2am on Friday morning when we were able to text chat with people as they faced the floodwater, using their mobile phones. Not surprisingly many were scared. In total darkness, with no lights, facing a wall of water, who wouldn’t be? We hope that knowing they were not totally alone was some comfort.
There is more rain (Meteo forecast 19.6mm on Sunday, January 10) forecast. But the blue skies yesterday and this morning make it an appropriate time to reflect on all the people who worked so hard over the last few days to help keep us safe.
Yes, there has been considerable damage. Yes there has been a deal of heartache. Yes, there has been huge inconvenience on the roads (with traffic queues as long as 10 to 12 miles reported), rail and even at Aberdeen International Airport.
The £12 million announced this morning by the First Minister will help. Householders and businesses whose premises have been affected will qualify for a £1,500 grant and businesses may be able to get another £3,000 to help keep their finances out of the red.
As far as we know, no lives have been lost. Given the ferocity of the floods, that is a huge relief.
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the emergency services – the police, the fire and rescue services, the coastguard, the council workers who have worked tirelessly over the past few days. And we must not forget the selfless members of our own community who have provided support and comfort for those who needed it.
A crisis, like the one we continue to face, brings out the best in people. It has been amazing to see the offers of help over the past days, from members of our community and indeed from businesses who have provided support, donated goods or services or provided free emergency accommodation.
All, young and old, focussed on working for the benefit of others. Offers of help are coming in from all directions.
Amazing. Heart-warming and humbling stuff.
Thank you. Keep following our Facebook page for the latest news.
During the flooding:
- Our Facebook followers has increased by 700 to 2,700.
- Our post engagement (that is people who like, comment or share) has risen to an amazing 37,469
- Our post reach has gone up to an even more amazing 177,993