Heartbroken families have vented their fury at Fife Council after their loved ones’ final resting places ended up submerged under several feet of water.
Flooding affected many areas of the Kingdom throughout the weekend but the situation was perhaps most profound at Ballingry Cemetery, where scores of graves were completely swamped by the deluge on Friday through Saturday.
Mementoes and keepsakes which had been placed beside headstones were either destroyed or washed away to another part of the cemetery, while relatives who have not been able to get out to survey the extent of any damage will be anxiously fearing the worst.
With more wet weather forecast and flooding seemingly a regular occurrence, locals have demanded action from the authorities to prevent any repeat of the horrendous scenes seen over the weekend.
Dozens of families are understood to have been affected, some worse than others, and many shared their stories.
John Rowley is one with previous experience of flooding at the cemetery.
“The last time it was flooded I had to change everything at my mum and dad’s grave,” he said.
“This time the council will be getting the bill.”
Local man James Fotheringham similarly commented: “I was at a funeral a few months back and had to place some of the grave diggers’ boards at the back gate so we could get to the funeral through the big puddle.
“But nothing like this.”
There were many other tales of heartache.
Denise Drummond, whose gran and grandad are buried in the cemetery, described the situation as “horrendous”, while Isabelle Thomson, who also has loved ones there, branded it an “absolute disgrace”.
“This is distressing and heartbreaking for the families buried there,” she added.
“The council need shamed into sorting these problems once and for all.”
Christina Ferguson also demanded action after seeing her gran’s grave covered with flood water once again.
“The council get a lot of money so please fix it right this time,” she pleaded.
“It is heartbreaking to see this all the time.”
Cowdenbeath MSP Annabelle Ewing has contacted Fife Council asking what longer-term plans it intends to put in place to prevent this happening again.
“The flooding at Ballingry Cemetery is extremely concerning and must be absolutely heartbreaking for families who have loved ones buried there and whose graves may have been affected,” she added.
Local councillor Lea McLelland thanked Ms Ewing for her intervention and hopes the problems will not repeat themselves.
“We were advised that this was a once in 1,000 years event and yet here we are again with the same issues within a few months,” she added.
Liz Murphy, bereavement services manager at Fife Council, commented: “The heavy rain over the past few days has unfortunately led to areas of the cemetery being flooded.
“We’re working to clear a drainage issue which seems to be causing the problem and find a longer-term solution to prevent this happening in the future.”