A DUMFRIESSHIRE couple — whose house was left “totally ruined” by last week’s devastating floods which also claimed the life of their pet kitten — say they are overwhelmed by the response of the local community.
Heather and Aaron Beattie fled their Lockerbie home last Thursday after excessive flood water poured its way into the house.
Whilst Aaron, 58, was helped by friends and neighbours to try and stop the ordeal, Heather, 45, was on her way home from down south but was hit with diversions and delays due to flooding elsewhere.
Heather told the Dumfries Courier: “Aaron called me to say that this was far worse than he had ever seen it before and was going to put the flood gates up. He then asked for me to make my way home as soon as possible. At this point we all just headed to the car to travel back up to Lockerbie.
“I was in denial, thinking it was just a wee bit of water but I was very wrong.”
When Heather arrived back home she had to park “quite a way down” the track of her home.
She added: “I was lucky I had a pair of boots to wade through the water, although it was higher than my boots.
And after seeing the property partially submerged by the floods, she was soon told that one of her beloved kittens had drowned.
“Liz and Paul Rossier, Alan Currie and Jan Livingston were there helping Aaron. Between them and some other friends, they managed to secure homes for all our ten cats and four dogs.
“They had to be floated out in barrels. I was devastated when I realised the enormity of what had happened.
“I was then told the sad news that one of the little kittens, who was getting bottle fed, had drowned and two adult cats were missing. Thankfully the two missing cats have re- turned.”
The water in the house has now subsided but has left a terrible mess.
Heather said: “All of our belongings are damaged, we will need to start from scratch again. It’s all the sentimental things that are lost which breaks my heart. Objects are replaceable but mementoes, keepsakes and photographs aren’t. Everything has washed away, it’s a tragedy”
Heather and Aaron are now staying with their friends – Rab and June Dunlop – who im- mediately opened their home to them for as long as they need.
Elsewhere the community has rallied round them and a fundraiser has been launched to help care for them and their pets.
Heather added: “All of our friends have been amazing. So much help has been offered to help with the clean up and emptying our house.
“The whole community have been sending us messages and asking how they can help. We can’t thank them enough.
“Lee Herron very kindly set upagofundmeforus,tohelp with the animal costs initially. We have been overwhelmed with the response and how many people, even people we don’t even know wanting to help out.”
So far over £2200 has been raised surpassing the initial £2k goal. Heather said: “We would just like to thank every- one who has helped us. As I said we are overwhelmed by the kindness of the commun- ity. We are also humbled by the amount of people who donated to Lee’s fundraising page to help. A massive thank you to everyone.”
To donate: www.gofundme.com/f/flood-leaves-family-and- pets-with-nothing