Damage expected to hit the 2.5m mark

THE damage wreaked by last months storms which hit Highland harbours and coast defences, many of them on the east coast of Caithness and Sutherland, has been estimated to cost in the region of 2.5 million.
In a report to the TEC Services Committee, council members are advised of the extent of the damage to facilities at 24 locations including: Scrabster – East Gills; John O’Groats Harbour; Freswick Harbour; Ackergill Harbour; Keiss Harbour; Staxigoe Harbour; Victoria Street, Wick; Scalesburn, Wick; Service Bridge, Wick; Latheron Harbour; Dunbeath Harbour; Helmsdale Harbour; Brora Harbour; Golspie; Embo Harbour; Portmahomack and its harbour; Hilton; Balintore and its harbour; Shandwick; Rockfield; Rosemarkie; and Nairn.
The highest estimated repair bills are at Balintore and harbour 835,000; Portmahomack and harbour 450,000; Dunbeath Harbour 100,000; Golspie 85,000; Nairn 85,000; Hilton 75,000; and Latheron Harbour 65,000.
To help meet the repair bill, the council will be submitting a claim to the Scottish Government under the Bellwin Scheme. Council Leader Drew Hendry has already written to Richard Lochead MSP Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment, inviting him to consider providing emergency financial assistance to meet the costs of the repairs and seeking an early meeting to discuss what financial assistance the Scottish Government can provide.
Further reports with full detailed actual costs will be submitted to a future council meeting. Members will also be asked to approve that the council provides advice and support to privately owned facilities affected by the December storm surge.
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