A woman has been found dead in a Scottish river, entire towns are being evacuated and thousands of families are without power after Storm Babet hit the UK.
A 57-year-old woman was swept into Lee waters in Glen Esk, Angus, Scottish Police said.
Officers were called to the river at around 1.45pm and a woman – who was confirmed dead – was pulled from the water just over two hours later.
Police Scotland said: “There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.”
A rare “danger to life” warning from the Met Office came into force at 6pm on Thursday and is valid in Scotland until midday on Friday.
ITV News Scotland reporter Louise Scott provides an update on the conditions caused by Storm Babet across Scotland
Firefighters and the coastguard are evacuating residents from Brechin, while emergency responders from both services are knocking on residents’ doors and advising them to leave the area.
Previously, Angus City Council had ordered over 400 homes to be evacuated. Residents were asked to bring sleeping bags, pillows and necessary medication to the rest centers that had been set up.
Due to the bad weather, 200,000 households were without power
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) said at 8.45pm that power had been restored to almost 18,500 homes and it was working to reconnect 3,300 more cut-off homes.
Aberdeenshire and Angus are the areas most affected by power outages.
Scotland’s Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has issued a warning that river levels could reach an “unprecedented” 5m above normal during Storm Babet.
Severe flood warnings have been extended for the River Esk in Scotland, including Aberdeenshire.
Angus Council wrote on X, formerly Twitter, on Thursday evening: “There is a serious threat to life from excessive flooding. We are currently re-checking all properties deemed at risk to evacuate remaining residents who did not wish to leave sooner.”
The local authority said schools will close before the storm hits, while ScotRail has announced mass train cancellations.
Photo credit: PA
What is the prognosis?
The second named storm of the season came after a red weather warning issued by the Met Office on Wednesday afternoon.
Across Aberdeenshire there is a “danger to life from fast-flowing or deep flood water” in both areas from 6pm, according to the Met Office.
The storm is threatening the worst-hit regions of Britain with winds of 70mph and a month of rain.
Met Office forecaster Greg Dewhurst said: “We could see 200 to 250 millimeters of rain fall within a day, which is well in excess of a month’s rainfall in the eastern parts of Scotland.”
It’s an amount close to the highest 24-hour total ever for a “rainy day.”
It is the first red rain warning in the UK since Storm Dennis in February 2020.
Britain is preparing for Storm Babet, which will hit the country from 6pm on Thursday. Photo credit: PA
The weather warnings are in place;
For Scotland, a red rain warning is in place for parts of eastern Scotland including Brechin, Forfar and Kirriemuir. It is valid from 6 p.m. on Thursday to 12 p.m. on Friday.
An amber weather warning is in place for most of the west of the UK from midday Friday until 6am Saturday due to ongoing heavy rain. The risk level is still relatively high in this category, with yellow warnings increasing the likelihood of injury and death, power outages, building damage and flooding.
Severe flood warnings have been extended for the River Esk in Scotland, including Aberdeenshire. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has added the villages of Logie Mill and Craigo to flood-prone locations in Angus, as well as Brechin and the nearby towns of Finavon and Tannadice. The village of Marykirk in Aberdeenshire has been placed on high alert.
Four flood warnings have been issued for parts of northern England and the Midlands, with Storm Babet set to move south on Friday.
Warnings that flooding is expected have been issued by the Environment Agency’s Floodline service in Sandsend, North Yorkshire. Bridlington, East Yorkshire; the Tyne Estuary and in areas around the River Maun in Nottinghamshire.
The authority also has 79 flood warnings, warnings of possible flooding, which apply to the rest of England.
A flooded street in Midleton, Co. Cork. Photo credit: @realLiamMac
The warning follows a major clean-up operation that has begun in Ireland, where the storm left several towns and villages inundated with floodwater.
The hardest hit counties were Cork and Waterford on the south coast. Cork County Council reported almost a month’s worth of rain fell in 24 hours.
Army and civil defense units helped evacuate people in the town of Midleton, where more than 100 properties were flooded.
Numerous businesses were damaged by the rapidly rising water level and up to 500 electricity customers still had no power on Thursday morning.
Clean-up efforts are underway in Cork after Babet hit the county on Wednesday, flooding homes and main roads. Photo credit: PA
Councilor Liam Quaide said the flooding scenes in the city were “apocalyptic”.
“The scenes of devastation in Midleton (are) an ominous sign of what lies ahead as a nation if we do not double down on climate action and adaptation,” he said.
Large parts of already saturated Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern and eastern England will also experience strong winds and heavy rain on Thursday, with yellow severe weather warnings issued until Saturday.
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Source : www.itv.com