Storm Babet clean-up under way as flood warnings to remain until Tuesday

Several areas remain submerged as the country counts the cost after three days of torrential conditions.

Scotland’s Storm Babet clean-up under way as flood warnings to remain in place until Tuesday Facebook / Scot Kilminster

Scotland is counting the cost of the clean-up operation in the aftermath of Storm Babet as the worst of the torrential weather subsided.

Severe flood warnings are likely to remain in place until at least Tuesday, but no weather warning has been put in place on Sunday until this evening – when an overnight yellow alert for ice comes in to play.

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) said Saturday’s rain amid the deadly storm will “prolong flooding impacts” and cause additional disruption.

The Scottish Government’s Resilience Room met to discuss the “exceptional” levels of rain that had fallen during the weekend.

The meeting, chaired by Justice Secretary Angela Constance, heard parts of Scotland were still in the midst of dealing with the severe flooding, while some rivers remain at hazardous levels.

There remain 14 flood warnings covering places such as Kintore, Kemnay and Inverurie in Aberdeenshire and Strath Oykel and Strath Carron in Caithness and Sutherland.

Constance said: “Storm Babet’s exceptional level of rain has severely affected parts of Scotland.

“Tragically, the storm has led to lives being lost and I send my sincere condolences to the families affected.

“The storm has caused significant damage and, while flooding is still occurring, it is not expected to be as serious as over the last 24 hours.

“The impact, however, will be felt in communities for some time to come.

“While many local authorities are still responding to the immediate impacts of the storm, thoughts are now turning to recovery.

“Over the coming days and weeks, we will stay in close contact with local authorities to support the people and businesses affected.”

Residents in Peterculter in Aberdeen were advised to evacuate their homes as a result of flooding on Saturday evening while some were airlifted to safety from Brechin – where a woman died after being swept into a river.

The red “danger to life” warning for rain was initially due to end at midnight on Sunday, but that was pushed to 6pm on Saturday before being eliminated altogether at around 4.30pm.

Hours later, half the staff on an oil platform in the North Sea had to be airlifted to alternative locations when its anchors became loose as a result of the storm.

Network Rail has said there is still major disruption on rail routes across parts of Scotland on Sunday following widespread flooding.

London North Eastern Railway (LNER) has advised its customers to not travel north of Edinburgh, and there are no LNER services operating from the city towards Aberdeen or Inverness.

ScotRail said routes remain closed between Aberdeen and Dundee, and Aberdeen and Elgin.

The Scottish train operator said they can not run services on the Fife Circle route, or between Inverness and Wick, Thurso and Kyle of Lochalsh.

Meanwhile, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has successfully restored power to customers who lost supply following the impact of the storm.

Over 600 engineers were deployed to restore supplies to 37,000 customers, with more than 450 network issues rectified in the space of just three days.

The supplier also confirmed households impacted by power cuts for more than 12 hours were entitled to £30 per person, for every day without power, to cover food and drink costs.

Two people in Scotland and one person in England have died since the storm began on Thursday, while an operation to find a man missing in the Marykirk area of Aberdeenshire is ongoing.

Meanwhile, an 80-year-old woman was found dead at a home in Chesterfield following flooding in the area on Saturday.

Derbyshire Police said investigations were continuing into the cause of death but “it is believed it is related to the flooding seen in the Chesterfield area”.

Sepa said water levels in rivers will fall throughout Sunday.

However the public has been warned that dangers from floodwater and damaged infrastructure remains.

Sepa’s flood duty manager, Vincent Fitzsimons, said: “While the weather is an improving picture today, and rivers will continue to fall throughout the day, it’s important to remember that there are still hazards caused by floodwaters and it’s important not to put yourself at risk.

“Sepa are removing the majority of local flood warnings but regional flood alerts remain in force in areas like Tayside and Aberdeenshire.

“This reflects not only the dangers which still exist from standing floodwater, and fast-flowing river water, but also that there are important recovery activities under way.”

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