Storm-force winds last Friday (January 3), coinciding with a very high tidal-surge, produced some of the worst local flooding in many years.
By early afternoon streets near the shorefront in Ardrossan and Saltcoats had been closed to traffic. Ardrossan’s South Crescent Road was particularly badly affected, as were Winton Circus in Saltcoats and adjacent roads, such as Sydney Street.
Shortly after 1.30pm Police Scotland closed the main A78 trunk road between Ardrossan and Seamill, turning-back vehicles at the Montfode roundabout. Later, police announced the A78 was closed to traffic from the Pennyburn roundabout outside Kilwinning all the way to Largs.
Trains from Glasgow were unable to run beyond Kilwinning, while ferries serving the Clyde islands of Arran and Cumbrae were cancelled.
At one point police in North Ayrshire urged locals to stay away from coastal areas – particularly Ardrossan Harbour, the Braes in Saltcoats and the East Promenade between Saltcoats and Stevenston – as it was feared people attempting to photograph the storm were “putting themselves at risk”.
The Scottish Government’s Minister for the Environment and Climate Change, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, praised ‘first-responders’ in the emergency services for the work they did in keeping people safe in what were described as “horrendous” conditions.
A clean-up operation is expected to take place once floodwater has subsided.