Wa­ter, wa­ter ev­ery­where

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Jonathan Geddes

It’s been two decades since Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang suf­fered the worst flood­ing to hit the area in liv­ing mem­ory.

The wa­tery chaos ru­ined Christ­mas 1994 for many fam­i­lies and busi­nesses, caus­ing an enor­mous dis­rup­tion.

The worst af­fected were the res­i­dents of Dal­marnock Road.

Some fam­i­lies first no­ticed wa­ter com­ing into their homes just after 8am on the morn­ing of Mon­day, De­cem­ber 12, with many fam­i­lies be­ing evac­u­ated that evening.

Oth­ers, how­ever, chose to stay on and try to sal­vage what they could .

A to­tal of 49 peo­ple had to evac­u­ated from the Farme Cross area, with wa­ter creep­ing up to a height of three feet inside flats, and cars were sub­merged on the street, as the Re­former’s pic­tures at the time showed.

Some fam­i­lies, like pen­sion­ers Charles and Betty McAu­ley and their neigh­bours John and An­gela Vincent , chose to move in with their up­stairs neigh­bours in­stead, re­turn­ing later to find their homes in ru­ins.

An­gela Vincent told the Re­former 20 years ago: “Ev­ery­thing will have to go. We were in the mid­dle of ren­o­vat­ing the bath­room and now both bath­room suites in the house have been dam­aged.

“All the Christ­mas presents have been ru­ined as well.”

Lo­cal firms were also badly af­fected by the flood­ing.

Busi­ness­man Justin MacFar­lane used an un­usual mode of trans­port to each his Down­iebrae ware­house - a dinghy!

He was dev­as­tated when he got there though, as he dis­cov­ered the 26,000 square feet of stor­age was un­der­wa­ter and almost £250,000 of stock had been wrecked.

His tele­phone sys­tem and com­put­ers were also de­stroyed.

Staff at Robin­son’s Dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tre in Baronald Street es­ti­mated that around £100,000 of goods were left rot­ting in wa­ter, while the cel­lar of Ten­nants bar was flooded.

And the flood­ing also knocked the rail net­work out of com­mis­sion, with ser­vices be­tween Ruther­glen and Partick ter­mi­nated, and re­mained out of ac­tion for months.

The fol­low­ing day saw two 3000 gal­lon trucks ar­rive to start clear­ing wa­ter from Dal­marnock Road , as part of a mas­sive clean-up op­er­a­tion.

Some lo­cal busi­nesses were even vis­ited by Prince Charles, in the af­ter­math.

Res­i­dents, how­ever, were angry over the lack of prepa­ra­tion for the prob­lems and the wa­ter sys­tems in the area, es­pe­cially given that Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang had long suf­fered from prob­lems with flood­ing and with poor drainage.

Thank­fully, the pre­ven­ta­tive mea­sures since put in place have en­sured there’s not been a re­peat of the flood­ing on that scale since then.

Wet, wet, wet The se­vere flood­ing on Dal­marnock Road pic­tured above

Flooded out The dam­age to an in­dus­trial unit after the floods

Un­der­wa­ter The Ruther­glen floods in 1994

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