GR Direct - Sony - Save up to £300 on selected Bravia OLED & LED TVs
Monday 24 June 2024
 13.4°C   S Moderate Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

News / Family lucky to survive peatslide

Uradale crofter Ronnie Eunson on Wednesday afternoon - all photos: Millgaet Media

A CROFTING family in Shetland is thanking their lucky stars after a peatslide almost washed away their house after record rainfall in the early hours of Wednesday.

Ronnie Eunson said he woke up at 7am to hear heavy rainfall, and looked out of the window to see the hill being torn away.

Hundreds of tonnes of peat came rushing down the hillside, washing his Land Rover and trailer a quarter of a mile down the burn that runs outside his house. His wife Susan’s Toyota Yaris was left high and dry on a stone wall.

The Eunson family were one of the worst hit in Shetland on a night where almost one month’s rainfall fell overnight, flooding roads, houses and the islands’ main golf course.

The Met Office said that 64.2mm of rain fell in just 12 hours, the previous record being 66mm coming down in the space of 24 hours in November 1949. They said the average rainfall in Shetland for August is 77mm.

The main A970 road south of Lerwick was blocked for about two hours after it was flooded with estimates of three feet of water.

The road north of the Trondra bridge was closed as well for a short while, along with the Black Gaet junction south of Lerwick.

There was a landslide at Quarff, but the slide at Uradale above the Eunson family home was the most treacherous.

“We were sleeping and at about 7am I heard a strange noise and looked out of the window and saw the side of the hill coming down,” Eunson said.

He said burn outside his house burst its banks and water came pouring through the house. When he came downstairs it was six inches deep and already flowing out again through the front door.

He has lost a field of silage, a lot of fencing and an old croft building he had hoped to renovate, and tanks, trees and byres are now buried underneath the peat outside his house.

Become a supporter of Shetland News


“We are incredibly lucky. It all happened very quickly and if it had been daytime and people had been moving around we could easily have lost people because nothing could have stood in the way of that.

“If it could take a Land Rover and trailer it would have made mincemeat of anyone who got in its way.”

More photos of Wednesday’s flooding and peatslides are at: Live: Heavy rain closes roads

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.