The first minister has vowed to lobby insurance firms to help residents hit by flooding in Brechin after being “shocked” at the devastation caused by Storm Babet.
Humza Yousaf visited the Angus town on Monday morning to see the aftermath of floods in the town.
Mr Yousaf spoke with residents whose homes have been destroyed and met officials involved in the rescue and clean-up operations.
He said: “It’s going to be a long journey given the scale of the devastation here.
“The level of devastation here has shocked me.
First minister in talks with insurance firms after Storm Babet Brechin floods
“I have seen for myself inside people’s homes – I have seen the height that the water reached in their houses.”
Many residents and businesses in the area are unable to get insurance because of the proximity of their homes to the River South Esk, which burst its banks on Thursday night.
Mr Yousaf said: “I am aware many people have no insurance.
“I can’t do anything about that directly but I am having conversations with the Association of British Insurers to try to help both now and in the future.”
It has been predicted Storm Babet could be one of the most expensive Scottish weather events in history, with the exact cost of repairs in Angus and beyond yet to be established.
But it comes at a time when the council’s ability to raise extra cash could be limited by a national council tax freeze.
Mr Yousaf insists he will be sticking by the freeze despite concerns about the impact on local authority budgets.
He said: “We will give additional funding to Angus Council if required.”
Mr Yousaf also says he is aware of damage to properties in other areas, including in Dundee, and that the Scottish Government is ready to assist.
He said: “We will work hand in glove with local authorities to assess what is needed.
“That is why we are committing £150 million to flood defence protection along with £42m to each local authority.
“We are also using Bellwin funding, emergency funding, to aid recovery in areas affected.”
‘My job is to reassure residents and businesses in Angus’
He added: “More than 200mm of rain fell in three days – that’s more than a monthly rainfall.
“Given the climate crisis, this may not be the only incident like this. That is why we are going to work with flood defence experts to see what is required to bolster flood defence in the future.
“My main job here today is to reassure residents and businesses we will be working hand in glove with Angus Council.”
Among those Mr Yousaf spoke with in Brechin was Euan Clark, whose home was destroyed in the flood at 4am on Friday.
Euan said: “I’m totally chuffed that the first minister has visited Brechin.
“It means a lot to me and I know to a lot of other Brechin folk that he has come here.”