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‘This is one of the worst years’

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By Bob Geddes
Dumfries and West
'This is one of the worst years'

A DUMFRIES shopkeer has told how he had to abandon his shop on the Whitesands this afternoon.

Rab Smith, who is also chairman of Dumfries Retailers Association, had to abandon his Domino Entertainments store on at 2 pm as the waters rose.
He said: “If I hadn’t got out then I would have been stuck there for a few hours. The water is into the shop and although I got sandbags and have a barricade, the water still came through.”
It is the fifth time this year he has been flooded and he wants action from the council, saying: “There’s loads of answers to this problem, but ideas for a huge bund on the Whitesands will not solve the problem and will just push the water to the other side.”
Dumfries and Galloway Council was proposing a £15 million flood scheme for the ‘Sands with a bund as the main part of it but thousands objected and they are still looking at solutions.
Rab said: “The answer is a four foot wall along the pavement beside the roadway and allow the front half of the car park to flood. We must keep the road open for if it is shut the rest of the town shuts. No one can get in or out.
“We have 48 businesses hit today on the Whitesands and it takes days to clear up. I”ve lost my phone, my electrics and the carpets will all have to be cleaned.
“We can’t get insurance now. We used to get it but they just don’t want to know us now. This is one of the worst years. i’ve been there for 30 years and at first it was a flood every four or five years – now it’s four, five and six a year.”

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