Oban floods keep shoppers away

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Trade in Oban took a hit after shoppers battened down the hatches and stayed at home during this week’s floods.

The new Marks and Spencer Foodhall managed to stay open during the worst of the floods but shut two hours early on Tuesday night so staff could get home safely.

Deliveries managed to still get through, said store manager Stuart Mackinnon, who added: ‘The safety of our customers and colleagues is always our priority. We are therefore keeping a close watch on conditions and will continue to liaise with the local authority and police.’

Tesco stayed open too. Shoppers who did venture in by car today (Wednesday October 10) to stock up on groceries  headed to Aldi and Lidl vying for spaces with reports of double parking, parking on pedestrian routes and hovering with engines running to get a slot.

‘It’s just chaos,’ said one man.

However, a Lidl spokesperson said while it was ‘very busy’ there was still room for shoppers wanting to visit its store.

BID4Oban chief executive Andrew Spence said the town was starting to get back to normal with people ‘just getting on with their lives’.

‘The main businesses affected have been those on the Lochavullin retail park but it was good to see many stayed open. The big issue now is the clean-up and getting the water levels down. They’re pumping out the big car park.

‘Lidl and Aldi car parks are very busy with people looking for somewhere to park but it’s a sign that people are just getting on with their lives,’ said Mr Spence.

And he added: ‘I haven’t heard of any problems from hotels because of the floods. It was just for a day. The town was quiet but people just battened down the hatches and stayed at home.’