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.
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.”
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.