SCOTTISH ministers are to release extra funds to help meet the costs of storm damage in the North-east.
The emergency cash will be freed up under the Belwin Scheme.
Aberdeenshire Council had approached the Scottish Government to consider financial support by activating the discretionary scheme, which gives assistance to councils who face an undue financial burden as a result of large-scale emergencies.
The move comes after more than 100 residents in Stonehaven - the worst-hit in the pre-Christmas floods - had to seek temporary accommodation whern their homes were devastated after the River Carron burst its banks on Sunday, December 23.
Finance Secretary John Swinney said: “Communities across Scotland, but particularly in the North-east, have had to endure exceptional weather in recent days. After the storms that battered coastlines earlier in December has come flood damage, most severely in Stonehaven.
“My thoughts are with the households and businesses that have suffered flood damage, at the cruellest possible time so close to Christmas. Clean up work is ongoing, and I commend everyone involved for their hard work.
“This Government is committed to helping communities get back on their feet as quickly as possible.”
Inland areas again escaped the brunt of the latest heavy rain and strong winds, but river levels in many parts of Aberdeenshire were closely monitored.
The River Ythan burst its banks in and around Ellon, most notably near Esslemont, where several properties were affected.
The river, swollen by days of persistent rain, also spilled over into the lower car park of the Buchan Hotel and in the Meadows area of the town.