First Minister to meet with flood-hit residents following Storm Babet

River Street in the town was badly hit after the River South Esk burst its banks on Friday.

First Minister Humza Yousaf will visit flood-hit residents in Brechin following exceptional rainfall over the weekend.

River Street in the town was badly hit after the River South Esk burst its banks on Friday and residents were urged to evacuate their homes after a “danger to life” warning was in place.

Residents living on River Street were first alerted to the danger of the body of water overtopping local flood defences on Thursday as heavy downpours caused levels to rise rapidly.

In the early hours of Friday, emergency services stepped up efforts to move people out of their properties as water started to spill over the sides of the defences and engulf the street.

Respite centres were set up in the town for individuals and families forced to leave their homes and residents only started returning in large numbers on Sunday to assess the damage done.

On Monday, Yousaf is expected to meet residents who have been impacted by the storm and thank volunteers, the local council and the emergency services for their work in supporting people evacuated from their properties.

Angus Council has had an overwhelming response to an appeal for accommodation for those unable to return home because of the damage caused by the floods. In addition, a call for clothing and toiletries led to hundreds of donations.

Speaking ahead of the visit, the First Minister said: “My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives to the extreme conditions caused by Storm Babet during what will be difficult time.  

“I want to pass on my thanks to local authorities, volunteers and the emergency services for all their efforts in these extremely challenging conditions.

“The local community in Brechin, like others across Scotland, has come together to offer support to all those affected by the floods with Angus Council receiving hundreds of offers of alternative accommodation for those forced to leave their homes.

“The process of assessing the full amount of damage caused in all areas affected by the storm is now underway. This will take some time and we are working closely with local authorities to support the people and businesses affected.”

Angus Council chief executive Margo Williamson added: “I am tremendously proud of Angus’ response to Storm Babet. Working closely with partners from across Tayside we have done our best to preserve life in extremely challenging conditions. I would like to pay tribute to everyone who supported this effort, particularly our volunteer organisations such as the Red Cross, Voluntary Action Angus, and our Tayside 4×4 drivers who have played a vital part in this operation.

“Our staff in the council, in the Angus Health and Social Care Partnership, and our leisure trust ANGUSAlive, have all gone above and beyond, facing challenges on an unprecedented scale.

“I would also like to reassure the residents of Angus, who have shown such community spirit, that their care and support is our absolute priority, particularly those who are displaced. We are now firmly focused on making a full recovery, and this work has already started.”

Two people died during the storm which saw a rare red weather warning issued by authorities in the lead up to it warning of a danger to life in the north east of Scotland.

On Sunday evening, police released a statement confirming the identity of a woman who died after being swept into the Water of Lee at Glen Esk at around 1.45pm on Thursday.

Wendy Taylor, 57, was described in a tribute penned by her family as a beloved wife, mother and grandmother and “a ray of sunshine” to everyone who knew her.

Elsewhere, a 56-year-old man was also killed on Thursday after a falling tree hit a van near Forfar. He has not yet been named by police.

A search is still ongoing for a second man reported missing to police on Friday, who is said to have been trapped in a vehicle in floodwater in Marykirk, Aberdeenshire.

Most weather warnings expired over the weekend but the Met office issued a yellow ice warning on Sunday evening saying icy patches forming overnight could cause fresh disruption on roads across much of Scotland on Monday morning.

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