Storm Babet: Three dead and hundreds evacuated amid second red rain warning

Warning the 'worst is yet to come' as Scotland is hit with rare red weather warning presenting a serious risk to life.

Key Points
  • Third death after man caught in fast-flowing flood water
  • Driver killed by a falling tree
  • Woman’s body recovered from river
  • Urgent search under way after reports of man trapped in vehicle in floodwater
  • Further red warning for ‘life-threatening’ rain issued
  • Homes in outskirts of Dundee evacuated after river bursts banks
  • More than 28,000 houses lose power

Three people have died, hundreds of homes have been evacuated and a further red warning for rain has been issued as Storm Babet brings “unprecedented” flooding.

Life-threatening weather will continue into Saturday, the Met Office said, as homes on the outskirts of Dundee and hundreds more in Brechin are overcome with floodwater.

A second red alert comes into force from midnight covering parts of the north east of Scotland.

West Mercia Police said a man in his 60s died after getting caught in fast-flowing flood water from a brook that breached a road in Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire on Friday morning.

The day before, Police Scotland confirmed a falling tree hit a van near Forfar in Angus in the evening killing a 56-year-old driver.

Emergency services attended the scene on the B0127 at Whigstreet at about 5.50pm.

And earlier on Thursday, a 57-year-old woman died after being swept into a river in Angus.

An urgent search is also under way after reports of a man trapped in a vehicle in floodwater near Marykirk.

A timelapse from a webcam on the River North Esk near Edzell shows the rapid rise in water level overnight.

Time lapse shows rapid rise in River North Esk levels
You can watch Farson Digital’s live webcams here.

Angus Council has said it is in “the middle of a very serious emergency” with “unprecedented” record-breaking flooding with most roads affected.

Flood levels are more than half a metre over the highest recorded. Defences in Brechin were breached at around 4am with River South Esk 4.4m above normal.

There are 30 flood warnings in place across Scotland. This includes four severe flood warnings, 16 flood warnings and 12 flood alerts.

Scotland’s deputy first minister, Shona Robison, warned “the worst is yet to come” as the Scottish Government expects weather conditions to have deteriorated seriously overnight.

Several months’ worth of rain is expected to fall within days with flooding already widespread.

River South Esk in Brechin bursts its banks

Amber and yellow weather warnings for rain and wind remain in place for much of the country.

A 57-year-old woman died on Thursday after being swept into a river amid the ongoing Storm Babet.Getty Images

A live update of all the weather warnings can be found on the Met Office website here.

Authorities urged those in the red warning zones to listen to advice and not to travel unless “absolutely essential”.

The Met Office warned some communities could be cut off for several days by severe flooding while the British Geological Survey has warned the storm could also cause landslides in Scotland.

Storm Babet has already caused more than 28,000 homes to lose power in Scotland with more facing severe flooding.

On Friday, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) has issued 12 flood alerts, 16 flood warnings and four severe flood warnings.

More than 28,000 homes lose power

Thousands of homes have been left without power due to severe flooding in the east of Scotland.Jeff J Mitchell via Getty Images

Storm Babet has left 28,000 homes without power.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) said power had been successfully restored to more than 24,000 customers but 4,000 remain cut off.

The main areas affected are Aberdeenshire, Angus and Perthshire, reflecting the Met Office’s ongoing weather warnings for wind and rain, and SEPA’s flood warnings.

SSEN has extra staff and equipment in place, including mobile generators.

Dozens of flights in and out of Aberdeen cancelled due to Storm Babet

Andy Smith, SSEN distribution operations director said: “Storm Babet’s severe effects continue to be felt, but our teams are making good progress. Through our automatic switching systems and the work of our teams on the ground, we have reconnected the majority of our customers who lost their supplies, and that effort continues today.

“We have 10 times our usual operational capacity to respond to issues as they occur.

“Our teams are facing hugely challenging circumstances on the ground, and I’d like to thank customers for their patience. I want to reassure them we’re doing everything we can to restore power as quickly as possible, and to limit the number of prolonged outages.

“We encourage anyone who may need additional support to contact our dedicated teams on the 24-hour power cut helpline on 105.”

Which areas have been issued flood warnings?

The following areas have been hit with a severe flood warning – the highest warning available:

  • Marykirk
  • Logie Mill and Craigo
  • Finavon and Tannadice
  • Brechin

The following areas have been hit with a flood warning from SEPA:

  • Kintore
  • Kemnay
  • Inverurie
  • Kinnaird/Bridge of Dun
  • Inchbare
  • Spey Viaduct to Spey Bay
  • Boat O-Brig to Spey Viaduct
  • Crieff to Innerpeffray
  • Carse of Lennoch to Lochlane
  • The River Isla at Coupar Angus
  • Innerpeffray to Bridge of Earn
  • Bridge of Ruthven to Leitfie
  • Blairgowrie to the River Isla
  • Aberbothrie
  • Churchill Barriers

Some 13 areas have been issued with a flood alert, including:

  • Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City
  • Caithness and Sutherland
  • Central
  • Dumfries and Galloway
  • Dundee and Angus
  • Easter Ross and Great Glen
  • Edinburgh and Lothians
  • Fife
  • Scottish Borders
  • West Central Scotland
  • Orkney

Travel chaos across Scotland

Several train services have been cancelled.Getty Images

Storm Babet sparked travel chaos across Scotland with dozens of trains, buses and flights either cancelled or delayed due to the wet and windy weather bringing the prospect of floods.

People have been warned to avoid travel unless “absolutely essential” in the areas under the red warning.

Traffic Scotland said these road sections are closed:

– The A85 at Huntingtower near Perth due to flooding.

– The A9 Jubilee Bridge near Dunkeld, Perthshire due to adverse “weather conditions”.

– The A90 between Myrekirk and Swallow Roundabouts, Dundee due to flooding.

– The A90 between Ellon and Bogbrae, Aberdeenshire due to a fallen tree.

– The A7 in both directions at Langholm, Dumfries and Galloway due to a fallen tree.

Drivers were advised to take care when crossing several bridges, including the A898 Erskine Bridge, West Dunbartonshire; the M90 Queensferry Crossing between Edinburgh and Fife; and the A87 Skye Bridge.

ScotRail’s 5.17am service from Oban to Glasgow Queen Street struck a tree in the Taynuilt area.

On Thursday, Scotrail suspended services between:

  • Aberdeen & Elgin
  • Edinburgh & Aberdeen via Fife
  • Perth & Aberdeen via Dundee
  • Dunblane & Perth
  • Perth & Aviemore
  • Tain & Wick / Thurso
  • All Fife Circle services

Dozens of flights in and out of Aberdeen Airport were cancelled on Thursday due to the weather.

A spokesperson for Aberdeen International Airport said: “With weather warnings in place for Storm Babet, we would ask passengers to contact their airlines direct on their status of their flight in the coming days.”

Those who need to travel are urged to check with their transport company for up to date information on all services.

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