The proprietor of a flooded Aboyne shoe shop was grateful for the work of a fast-thinking councillor earlier this month.
Ruth Punyer took over Footprint in Station Square back in 2014, but was horrified at the start of this year after the heavy rain led to water coming up through the floor and threatening to damage her stock.
But one word to local councillor Geva Blackett and Ruth found herself with permission from Aberdeenshire Council to set up shop in one of the council-owned units of Station Square - slightly higher up and clear of the flooding.
“Geva actually came over to the shop with two of her colleagues while the water was still over the bottom of the shop door and asked if there was anything they could do to help,” explained Ruth.
“I asked if she could put me in one of the shops across the road that was clear of the water. She made a phone call and I spoke to her two colleagues, and within a couple of minutes she came back to me and said yes, we could move across the road.
“She was absolutely fantastic.”
The stock in Footprint had been gathered and put up high out of the water’s reach, and Ruth was able to move the inventory across with the loss of just three pairs of slippers.
Cllr Blacket said: “I’m so pleased that the council was able to help a business at short notice and ensure it keeps running.”
On January 8, the morning after the worst of the flooding, Ruth feared that she might have to shut up shop altogether for a few weeks - and she was advised that even after the shop had immediately dried out, moisture in the air would probably damage stock.
But fortunately, Footprint opened up in its temporary home next to Monkey Business less than a week later, where it will trade until its regular quarters have been properly dried out and re-fitted.
Ruth said: “Everyone in the community’s really pulled together during these floods. We’ve had so many offers of help, and people actually turning up and really getting stuck in.
“Everyone’s just been wonderful.”