Landslides hit parts of central Mainland including Uradale

Click on image to enlarge

A Scalloway farmer and his family came close to being washed away in last night’s torrential rain which caused serious flooding and damage across a swathe of the central Mainland.

The worst affected part appears to have been Uradale, between Scalloway and Trondra, where a huge landslide swept down the hill past farmer Ronnie Eunson’s house, bursting into the building and carrying his Land Rover and trailer about quarter of a mile down the valley towards the sea.

The torrent of water, peat and soil broke through a house door and an adjoining garage. Large lumps of peat and turf were left strewn around next to the farmhouse and the family’s small car was damaged after being lifted a short distance.

Mr Eunson described the family’s ordeal as “fairly scary” but he was able to make light of the trauma, describing the surge as “like chocolate sauce”. The water and debris in the house reached about six inches deep and he said he was left with “lumps of girse” in his front room.

Behind his house scores of acres of soil and grazing, and an old croft house, were swept away from the hillside.

The Eunsons were in the area near Scalloway, Gulberwick and Quarff which was worst affected by the flash flooding.

Click on image to enlarge

To the east, just over the hill from Uradale, hundreds of commuters had to wait up to two hours to get to Lerwick because the main Sumburgh-Lerwick road was under about three feet of water at the south end of Gulberwick, between the disused golf driving range and the Brindister quarry.

The string of cars stretched as far back as the middle of Quarff before workmen were able to open the road to single-file traffic shortly after 9am.

In Scalloway there was extensive flooding including to shops, business premises and homes along Main Street.

Part of the Hame Fae Hame childcare centre in Scalloway’s Anderson Buildings was flooded. Owner Kaye Sandison was able to send older bairns for an activity day in the youth centre while the mess was cleared up. She said that thankfully the losses were limited to a table and some jigsaws.

The village’s Fraser Park football pitch was under water and several businesses were left without power for a short while.

Some stretches of road in Trondra, East Voe and the Black Gaet were blocked or partially obstructed for a time by water and debris.

The Brig o’ Fitch became a serious pressure point as flood water surged towards the sea, sweeping away small bridges between the greens at the Dale Golf Course and damaging greens and fairways.

The rest of the season at Dale is in some doubt with a meeting planned for this evening to discuss the damage once it can be assessed properly when the flood recedes.

Club chairman Stuart Fox said: “The likelihood is there won’t be any play, certainly this weekend, and maybe next week.”

Click on image to enlarge

Lower Gulberwick was the scene of surging flood water which cut off the single-track road near the church for about an hour. Part of Gulberwick beach was washed away where the burn runs down to the sea.

There was a large landslide behind the hall and houses at Wester Quarff and various smaller land slips have been reported, including at Tingwall and Clift Sound.

At the roadside just north of Quarff the famous Henry’s Loch, which had dried out over the summer, filled to capacity again overnight.

If you have any incidents to report call John Robertson on (01595) 746718.

More flood damage images here…


Add Your Comment
  • ian tinkler

    • August 22nd, 2012 14:54

    On a different note to Mareel, pause for thought on Shetlands other White Elephant. Just what would have happened to the 100 kilometre plus access roads to the Viking Energy turbines during last nights are heavy rains? The Bearing in mind these roads are constructed on soft peat along the sides and watersheds of high hills above people’s homes. Pause for thought they could well be carrying 30 ton plus loads. Scary thought! Could we today be looking at human tragedy and corporate manslaughter charges? I have been proven correct about Shetland Arts competency and Mareel. How about Viking energy. That is truly a frightening prospect! Scaremongering? Perhaps but a truly scary prospect.

  • Al Hidden, Gloucestershire Copywriter

    • August 22nd, 2012 16:56

    Really sorry to hear about this as I sit here writing in the Gloucestershire sunshine. We experienced something similar with the floods back in 2007. Glad to hear that Ronnie, Sue (my wife’s cousin) and the family are safe. It’s a very different scene to the one we enjoyed when we were up in beautiful Shetland back in July. Best wishes to Uradale Organics and everyone else affected by the rain and landslides for a swift recovery and all the help they need to deal with this.

  • Sandy McMillan

    • August 22nd, 2012 19:23

    Yes your dead right Ian, its a very scary thought the rain undermining the peat and the tonnes of concrete sliding down the hill towards habitation, it does sound scaremongering, over the last few years there has been more landslides than ever before, it seems as if it is becoming a yearly occurance, we have to remember this is August not the middle of winter.
    Sandy McMillan

  • Biz Miller

    • August 22nd, 2012 23:03

    Ian: Interesting you say that windfarms would have caused even more damage.
    Anthropogenically accelerated soil erosion (Including catastrophic mudslides that kill thousands worldwide) is one of a range of predicted outcomes of climate change.
    If we had followed the lead of Steven Salter thirty years ago and had invested in renewable energy technology instead of fossil fuels, this most certainly would not have happened!

  • Andy Hughson

    • August 23rd, 2012 8:53

    Ian Tinkler, all that has been proven with your comments about Mareel is that you are at best living in a fantasy world, and at worst an outright liar.

    Now this is further proven by your complete ignorance of even the most basic aspects of the Viking Energy project.

    Why the Shetland Times continues to publish your false and at time libelous comments is beyond me. This is a serious story about an event which has cost many people dear and could have cost lives, yet you chose to latch on to it to spread more of your lies and self righteous rubbish.

  • ian tinkler

    • August 23rd, 2012 13:06

    If indeep I an not being truthful and libelous. Please sue me. My fantasy world to date has a habbit of becoming reality. How long befoe SSE realise the danger of this VE project and pull out. Just watch this space.

  • Johan Adamson

    • August 23rd, 2012 13:30

    I did wonder tho if the smaller windmills which we have at Burradale could act as lightening conductors like church spires in the conditions we had and whether or not this would have any effect on anything. I thought it was interesting that Burradale was in the zone of this storm with everything around the bottom of it flooded, and it did remain unscathed (or did it?), for a great mercy. Does anyone know?

  • John Tulloch

    • August 23rd, 2012 17:00

    Biz Miller,

    Your claim about climate change predictions is unfounded, at least, according to the “Vatican” of anthropogenic global warming, the IPCC (UN intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).

    Professor Roger Pielke Jr., a climate expert and former IPCC contributor highlights this very point in his blog, referring to the recent IPCC report “Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX)” as a “handy Bullshit Button” to be pressed whenever we hear people making dire predictions about the consequences of “climate change,” man-made or natural.

    For example, from the IPCC report;-

    “The absence of an attributable climate change signal in losses also holds for flood losses. ”

    I would recommend reading Pielke’s short precis as well as the report itself before issuing doom-laden shibboleths of the “Church of the Latterday Gore.”

  • Sandy McDonald

    • August 23rd, 2012 21:10

    I’m pretty sure they ken what they’re doing when they build the foonds for these things. You should have seen what was coming out the ground when they took down the old THRS radar station.

  • Ian Tinkler

    • August 24th, 2012 13:47

    Anthropogenic accelerated soil erosion (Including catastrophic mudslides that kill thousands worldwide) is one of a range of predicted outcomes of climate change.
    Biz Miller
    Wow now we know what sunk Atlantis and caused Noah’s flood various ice age thaws. Viking Energy going to cure all that?


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