Storm Babet to hit England after woman swept into river dies in Scotland

Autumn weather October 19th 2023 Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Storm Babet will batter parts of England on Friday after a woman died when she was swept into a river amid gale-force winds and flooding in Scotland.

Amber warnings for wind and rain have been issued for parts of northern England, the Midlands and northern Wales from noon on Friday to 6am on Saturday.

A yellow warning for Northern Ireland is also in place from 3am on Friday to 9am on Saturday.

Waves at Stonehaven Harbour Credit: Credit: Andrew Milligan/ PA

On Thursday afternoon, a woman died after being swept into a river in Angus, amid the evacuation of 400 homes in the Scottish region.

Police Scotland said the body of the 57-year-old woman was recovered from Water of Lee at Glen Esk, where a rare red weather alert is in place until midday on Friday.

Four flood warnings have been issued by the Environment Agency’s Floodline service in Sandsend, North Yorkshire; Bridlington, East Yorkshire; the Tyne estuary and in areas surrounding the River Maun in Nottinghamshire.

The agency also has 79 flood alerts in effect across the rest of England.

Severe flood warnings were expanded for the River Esk in Scotland, including into Aberdeenshire.

A fallen tree in Brechin Credit: Credit: Andrew Milligan/ PA

The Met Office said 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.

Yellow and Amber wind warnings have been issued for eastern parts of Scotland and along the east coast of England until the weekend, the Met Office said.

Gusts in excess of 60mph are likely on Friday, with particularly poor conditions on immediate coastlines with large waves adding to the list of hazards.

Fire crews and the coastguard began evacuating residents from the town of Brechin on Thursday night – knocking on residents’ doors advising them to leave the area.

Angus Council, responsible for a large area in the east of Scotland north of Dundee, said residents in 335 homes in Brechin and a further 87 homes in Tannadice and Finavon would be asked to evacuate due to risk of severe flooding.

It warned river levels in the town could reach an “unprecedented” five metres higher than normal and render flood defences useless.

The Council said schools would be shut on Friday to “ensure the safety of children, young people, parents, and school staff”.

The region was was battered by heavy rain, and some 20,000 properties were hit by power cuts, although Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) said electricity had been restored to 14,000.

The Met Office red weather warning began at 6pm on Thursday and was expanded to include Dundee, Perth and Kinross, as well as Angus and Aberdeenshire, where 20ft waves were seen crashing in Stonehaven harbour.

Paddleboarding instructor David Jacobs, 56, said he saw waves around 20ft high in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, and expects it to be worse on Friday.

He said he was concerned for passers-by who stopped to watch the waves, as they could be hit by debris or swept into the sea.

Mr Jacobs said: “The wind is swinging east tomorrow so it will be coming directly into the harbour.

“The last time I have seen weather like this was 2014, it is quite spectacular to watch but bits of trees and rocks land onto the road. It worries me for other people.”

Andrew Batchelor, who runs Dundee Culture – a platform which showcases the achievements, culture and heritage of Dundee – told the PA news agency his car was hit by a branch on his way home from Edinburgh Airport.

“We just arrived home from Ibiza and the flight was delayed due to operational problems and of course the weather,” the 23-year-old who lives in Dundee said.

“When we were heading towards Perth, a branch struck our car, fortunately nothing was damaged but you could hear the wind and rain banging on the car as we headed home.”

Storm Babet hit Ireland on Wednesday after sweeping in from the Atlantic, bringing with it heavy rainfall and causing extensive flooding in parts of the country.

Members of the Irish Defence Forces were deployed in the town of Midleton, Co Cork, in the south of Ireland, where more than 100 properties were flooded.

Cork County Council said more than a month’s worth of rain had fallen in the space of 24 hours, leading to unprecedented flooding, saturated land and high river levels across the county.