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Entire Scottish town is evacuated as Britain braces for Storm Babet: Flood barriers are set up, trains are cancelled and ‘do not travel’ warnings are issued – as Met Office expands red alert for 70mph gale force winds and heavy rain set to hit at 6pm


An entire Scottish town will be evacuated as Britain prepares to be battered by Storm Babet.

Residents in more than 350 homes have been told to be leave the town of Brechin, Angus, with flood warnings set to be put in place for the Brechin River and South Esk Area.

Angus Council said that anyone affected by the storm should evacuate as they prepare to go door to door and spread the warning, Sky News reports. The council has told locals that it only has a limited supply of sandbags to help protect buildings.

The Met Office has issued an extremely rare ‘danger to life’ red warning from 6pm today through to midday on Friday with 70mph winds and over a month’s worth of rainfall expected in the worst-affected regions.

Forecasters had initially warned that the east of Scotland, including Brechin, Forfar and Kirriemuir, could be hit hardest with ‘exceptionally heavy and persistent rain’. It has since been spread wider to includes areas just above Perth

The last red warning anywhere in the UK for rain was in February 2022 for Storm Eunice. Today’s is the first red warning for rain in Scotland since Storm Desmond in 2015, when more than 100 homes were evacuated in Hawick, Roxburghshire.

PERTH: Flood barriers are installed on Queen's Bridge as heavy rain and wind batters the city

PERTH: Flood barriers are installed on Queen’s Bridge as heavy rain and wind batters the city

DORSET: Environment Agency staff repair concrete wave barriers installed along parts of the seafront in Swanage

DORSET: Environment Agency staff repair concrete wave barriers installed along parts of the seafront in Swanage

EDZELL: A dog walker and her dog at a flood defence barrier erected on Church street in the Scottish village

EDZELL: A dog walker and her dog at a flood defence barrier erected on Church street in the Scottish village

ESSEX: A vehicle is left completely submerged in a ford as heavy rain caused roads to flood

ESSEX: A vehicle is left completely submerged in a ford as heavy rain caused roads to flood

SOUTH SHIELDS, TYNE AND WEAR: Enormous waves crash onto South Shields pier in the North East this morning at sunrise

SOUTH SHIELDS, TYNE AND WEAR: Enormous waves crash onto South Shields pier in the North East this morning at sunrise

COUNTY CORK: Britain is bracing itself for Storm Babet after devastating floods sparked chaos in Midleton, Cork, including at this Supervalu supermarket

COUNTY CORK: Britain is bracing itself for Storm Babet after devastating floods sparked chaos in Midleton, Cork, including at this Supervalu supermarket

SEAHAM, COUNTY DURHAM: Storm Babet batters the north east coast of England this morning as waves as big as 20ft are pictured battering Seaham light house

SEAHAM, COUNTY DURHAM: Storm Babet batters the north east coast of England this morning as waves as big as 20ft are pictured battering Seaham light house

GLOUCESTER: Motorists have been warned to drive safely following a bad crash on the M5

GLOUCESTER: Motorists have been warned to drive safely following a bad crash on the M5 

DORSET: Shocked locals dodge the sea spray as big waves were seen crashing into the coast at Mudeford Quay

DORSET: Shocked locals dodge the sea spray as big waves were seen crashing into the coast at Mudeford Quay

LONDON: Commuters were seen struggling with their umbrellas as the storm threatens to cause chaos in England

LONDON: Commuters were seen struggling with their umbrellas as the storm threatens to cause chaos in England

The graphic shows where the worst impacted areas of Scotland will be as Storm Babet bears down on the UK

The graphic shows where the worst impacted areas of Scotland will be as Storm Babet bears down on the UK

COUNTY CORK: This is the moment that a car is washed away by biblical floods in Ireland - as Britain braces for over a month's worth of rain and 70mph gale force winds today

COUNTY CORK: This is the moment that a car is washed away by biblical floods in Ireland – as Britain braces for over a month’s worth of rain and 70mph gale force winds today

The Met Office has issued a new amber warning for parts of northern England, the Midlands and Wales as Storm Babet batters the UK

The Met Office has issued a new amber warning for parts of northern England, the Midlands and Wales as Storm Babet batters the UK

The Met Office has also updated its red weather warning for rain, which will now cover a wider area of Scotland, bringing 'exceptionally heavy and persistent rain'

The Met Office has also updated its red weather warning for rain, which will now cover a wider area of Scotland, bringing ‘exceptionally heavy and persistent rain’

The Met Office has also issued a new amber warning for parts of northern England, the Midlands and Wales as Storm Babet sparks chaos in the UK. Workmen have been pictured putting flood defences up as Britain prepares for a deluge of rain.

The warning is in place from noon on Friday to 6am on Saturday due to persistent heavy rain. Homes and businesses are likely to be flooded and some communities could be cut off by impacted roads.

Between 40 and 60mm of rain is likely, with the potential for between 80 and 120mm on higher ground, the Met Office said. 

It comes as Storm Babet has caused mayhem today with trains cancelled, roads blocked and Britons warned to stay at home as gale force winds and torrential rain hit the UK.

The second named storm of the season hammered Ireland yesterday as dozens of cars were submerged and washed away, while businesses, supermarkets and hospitals fell victim to the destructive floods. 

But Storm Babet, named after a woman from the Netherlands who said she had been born during a gale, is now starting to wreak havoc in Britain. Some schools will close as parts of Scotland prepare for one third of their annual rainfall in just one day today.

Scottish Water warned of the risk of sewer flooding and said staff are on standby. The organisation said sewer flooding reports are expected to increase as drainage systems become overwhelmed by the extreme rainfall.

John Griffen, Scottish Water’s water operations general manager said: ‘We have activated contingency plans including increasing the numbers of staff and contractors on standby to support customers experiencing sewer flooding, and protect our critical infrastructure across water and waste water services.

‘Plans are in place for known sewer flooding hotspots with tankers on-site, and we encourage any customer experiencing sewer flooding to report it as soon as possible…’

Mass train cancellations have been imposed by ScotRail, expected to last from today until Saturday with trains suspended in North and North East Scotland while the South and West will also be hit by delays today.

Services have been suspended between Aberdeen and Elgin; Edinburgh and Aberdeen via Fife; and Perth and Aberdeen via Dundee.

Angus Council which covers parts of Aberdeenshire, Dundee City and Perth and Kinross, said the severe weather warnings were ‘unprecedented’, and schools would be closing at lunchtime on Thursday, and all day Friday. 

Stagecoach has also warned bus passengers of disruption in eastern Scotland today. It said the X7 bus route from Aberdeen to Perth will be impacted by the closure of Lower Northwater Bridge in Aberdeenshire. Highland Council has announced that all its bus services will be suspended until further notice too.

The Royal Family’s Balmoral castle and estate has been closed to the public today and tomorrow due to the weather in Aberdeenshire. All facilities at Cairngorm Mountain in Aviemore have also been closed today due to the storm.

In England, railway replacement busses were required from early on as there was a tree blocking the railway between Barton-On-Humber and Grimsby Town. The same thing happened with an oak tree just south of the Tay Bridge at the A92. Network Rail Scotland said the railway in this area is closed today.

Holiday company Travel Republic has urged holidaymakers to be aware of potential disruptions and delays if they are going to be travelling in the next week.

Managing director Antonio Fellino said it is ‘crucial that you plan ahead when it comes to making your way to the airport and ensure you have a plan B in case of any public transport cancellations’.

‘We recommend giving yourself at least a couple of extra hours,’ Mr Fellino said.

‘Although UK airports will also be preparing for the weather, it’s always best to expect delays and ensure you have essentials with you for all parts of your journey including food and drink, a fully charged mobile phone and any extra layers of clothing.’

The Met Office said the storm will impact the UK until 11.59pm on Saturday and is expected to cause flooding and power cuts. Previously, yellow warnings were due to finish at 12pm on Saturday.

A new amber warning includes huge rainfall forecast across parts of southeast Scotland, northeast Wales and northern England but London is no longer set to be impacted.

Rail passengers have already faced travel chaos while motorists in England and Northern Ireland have been warned to drive safely due to excess surface water in many areas.

Incredible photos show Britons cowering from waves as England’s coastlines are battered. Some 20ft waves were seen crashing into the north east coast this morning, with Brits urged to batten down the hatches as Babet closes in.

LONDON: Windswept commuters cross Waterloo Bridge this morning as Storm Babet batters the UK

LONDON: Windswept commuters cross Waterloo Bridge this morning as Storm Babet batters the UK

LONDON: Commuters woke up to grim conditions in the capital today as bad weather is expected across the country today

LONDON: Commuters woke up to grim conditions in the capital today as bad weather is expected across the country today

LONDON: Met Office issues rare 'danger to life' warning as Britain braces for Storm Babet today

LONDON: Met Office issues rare ‘danger to life’ warning as Britain braces for Storm Babet today 

PERTH: Heavy rain and winds have hit Scotland today. Perth is covered by an amber weather warning

PERTH: Heavy rain and winds have hit Scotland today. Perth is covered by an amber weather warning

PERTH: Commuters who are braving the storm have woken up to strong winds and heavy rain

PERTH: Commuters who are braving the storm have woken up to strong winds and heavy rain

RIVER TYNE: Footage showed this boat majorly rocking as Storm Babet closes in on Britain

RIVER TYNE: Footage showed this boat majorly rocking as Storm Babet closes in on Britain

DUNDEE: The big wheel wheel in Dundee was seen turning more quickly than usual as winds gripped Scotland

DUNDEE: The big wheel wheel in Dundee was seen turning more quickly than usual as winds gripped Scotland

NORFOLK: Video showed the storm beginning to pick up with the waves getting bigger and reaching the base of the sea wall

NORFOLK: Video showed the storm beginning to pick up with the waves getting bigger and reaching the base of the sea wall

SOUTH SHIELDS: Storm Babet lashes the North East Coastline at the mouth of the River Tyne

SOUTH SHIELDS: Storm Babet lashes the North East Coastline at the mouth of the River Tyne

ESSEX: A vehicle is submerged in a ford as huge amounts of rain fell in the UK last night

ESSEX: A vehicle is submerged in a ford as huge amounts of rain fell in the UK last night

DORSET: A couple are soaked despite having an umbrella as they take a walk in the coastal town of Swanage

DORSET: A couple are soaked despite having an umbrella as they take a walk in the coastal town of Swanage

DORSET: Locals walk past shingle and seaweed washed up on a seafront road overnight in Swanage

DORSET: Locals walk past shingle and seaweed washed up on a seafront road overnight in Swanage

COUNTY CORK: Footage shows hospital beds, mobility scooters and wheelchairs floating inside a ward at the Midleton Community Hospital

COUNTY CORK: Footage shows hospital beds, mobility scooters and wheelchairs floating inside a ward at the Midleton Community Hospital

SUSSEX: The storm has brought high wind which tore down this tree in Littlehampton, Sussex, on Wednesday night

SUSSEX: The storm has brought high wind which tore down this tree in Littlehampton, Sussex, on Wednesday night

SOUTH DEVON: Huge waves seen in Teignmouth South Devon on Wednesday as storm Babet ploughed into southern England and Ireland

SOUTH DEVON: Huge waves seen in Teignmouth South Devon on Wednesday as storm Babet ploughed into southern England and Ireland 

BRIDGEND: Clouds gather at Porthcawl in Wales as Storm Babet prepares to hit large parts of the UK

BRIDGEND: Clouds gather at Porthcawl in Wales as Storm Babet prepares to hit large parts of the UK

CORK: A car submerged in water following floods in Cork City after storm Babet brought a month's worth of rain in 24 hours

CORK: A car submerged in water following floods in Cork City after storm Babet brought a month’s worth of rain in 24 hours 

COUNTY CORK: A woman wades through the flooded streets of Midleton in County Cork as Storm Babet lashed down on Ireland

COUNTY CORK: A woman wades through the flooded streets of Midleton in County Cork as Storm Babet lashed down on Ireland

Commuters who are braving the storm have been pictured struggling to deal with the conditions as their umbrellas are turned inside out amid the gale-force winds. 

Gloucestershire Police also released a photo of a crashed vehicle between junctions 14 and 13 of the M5 as drivers battle with the horrendous conditions. 

Met Office chiefs have warned that ‘Scotland will bear the brunt of Storm Babet’. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has said that ‘unprecedented levels of rain’ – with up to 10in (250mm) – is set to fall. It has six flood warnings in place, along with 14 flood alerts.

Laura Tobin, the weather presenter on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, pointed out that 250mm is set to fall in the red warning area. She said on X: ‘Inverbervie has 703.4mm of rainfall a year on average. That’s 1/3 of the annual rainfall in 1 day!’

Britons are readying for the storm after astonishing footage from Cork, the second largest city in Ireland, shows how vehicles have become completely submerged in water as the island was lashed by relentless rainfall.

How Babet was named after a Dutch woman born during a gale

Storm Babet was named after a woman from the Netherlands who said she had been born during a gale.

The Met Office compiles its annual list of storm names in conjunction with the Dutch and Irish weather services.

The Dutch weather service organised an open day last year, inviting visitors to submit suggestions for names – and Babet was among those involved, reported the Daily Telegraph. 

Further down the list is Storm Elin, which was named after a visitor who said they had a ‘tempestuous granddaughter’ with the same name.

The town centre of Midleton, County Cork, has been hit particularly hard, with almost 1,000 homes and businesses experiencing power outages and more than 100 properties flooded as the storm sparked chaos, including at a local hospital. 

Footage shows hospital beds, mobility scooters and wheelchairs floating inside a ward at the Midleton Community Hospital, with one user on X, formerly Twitter, asking: ‘Our poor elderly in Midleton hospital. How has it taken so long for the defence forces to be called out? Homes and businesses destroyed.’ 

The Irish Defence Forces have since been deployed to help those stranded, while the local hospital was also evacuated. Cork Council said a month’s worth of rain had descended on the county in the past 24 hours. Sinn Fein TD Pat Buckley said: ‘Never in my life have I seen this so bad firstly I hope everyone is ok. It’s going to take major funding to fix this disaster.’ 

Storm Babet has so far devastated parts of Ireland while it has caused commuter chaos and felling trees in England. 

Forecaster Greg Dewhurst said: ‘We’re going to see prolonged heavy rain, where we could see 200mm (8in) to 250mm (10in) of rain falling within a day which is well over a month’s worth of rainfall for eastern parts of Scotland.

‘We’re likely to see flooding, power disruption, travel disruption, there is a risk to life as well. There’s also an amber wind warning out for eastern parts of Scotland, where we could see gusts of 60mph to 70mph, just adding to the extremely dangerous weather coming for parts of Scotland.’

This is the first red warning for rain issued in the UK since Storm Dennis in February 2020. On Wednesday, the Scottish government held a meeting of its Resilience Room to help mitigate the affects of the storm. 

In a statement, Deputy First Minister Shona Robinson said: ‘The strong message is that if you are in the parts of Angus and South Aberdeenshire affected – please stay at home and do not travel.

‘Other parts of Scotland are also at risk of flooding as rivers respond and drainage systems become overwhelmed. The risk is exacerbated by the fact that many catchments are already saturated following last week’s heavy rainfall and flooding.

‘No one should take the risks for granted and I would urge everyone in the country to prepare where necessary, heed the travel warnings issued by Police Scotland and take extreme care around fast-flowing water.’

Forecasters are warning that the torrents that could drop a month’s worth of rain, combined with gusts of up to 70mph, could leave some people cut off from outside assistance for days. 

As videos go viral of Babet battering Ireland, England and particularly Scotland are preparing to face the wrath of the devastating storm.

BRIGHTON: A member of the public struggles in the wind and rain with an umbrella is windswept on Wednesday afternoon

BRIGHTON: A member of the public struggles in the wind and rain with an umbrella is windswept on Wednesday afternoon

Huge waves were seen crashing into the coast in Teignmouth, South Devon, on Wednesday

Huge waves were seen crashing into the coast in Teignmouth, South Devon, on Wednesday

DEVON: Massive waves crash into the Teignmouth coast as Storm Babet threatens to wreak havoc across the UK

DEVON: Massive waves crash into the Teignmouth coast as Storm Babet threatens to wreak havoc across the UK

LONDON: People walk through the rain in London, as Storm Babet will bring heavy rain to the UK this week

LONDON: People walk through the rain in London, as Storm Babet will bring heavy rain to the UK this week

Met Office senior presenter and meteorologist Alex Deakin said: ‘Scotland will bear the brunt of Storm Babet with heavy rain setting in during Thursday and lasting well into Friday. Several hours of heavy rain really is going to build up particularly in the East. That’s why we have the red warning in place and it is expected to cause significant issues, particularly with flooding.

‘Strong wind will be an added hazard, again particularity across the east with gusts of 70mph. That could bring down trees, cause some structural damage and just exacerbate already being cause by the heavy rain.’ 

He said that Storm Babet ‘is also going to bring heavy rain and strong winds to many, many parts during Wednesday, Thursday and even into the weekend.’

Heavy rain is expected in parts of northern England, north Wales, Northern Ireland and southern Scotland, while the south east of the UK could bear the brunt on Friday. 

On Thursday morning, the north east of England looked to be among the worst impacted as the storm closes in. Huge waves were seen crashing into lighthouses in South Shields, Tyne and Wear and Seaham, County Durham. Boats were also seen majorly rocking on the River Tyne as forceful winds grip the country.

One of Britain’s few open air sea water swimming pools, or lidos, has been badly damaged by the storm. The Shoalstone Seawater Pool in Brixham, Devon, was built around 150 years ago when Queen Victoria was on the throne.

But sheer brute strength of the stormy weather has ripped the metal railings from their mountings and there are fears the lido will be washed into the sea and lost forever.

In London, trains travelling to and from Paddington station were disrupted until around 9pm last night.

One person on X, formerly known as Twitter, said Paddington station was ‘packed’ due to the cancellations of trains. While another described the situation as ‘total chaos’.

In London, trains travelling to and from Paddington station were disrupted until around 9pm last night

In London, trains travelling to and from Paddington station were disrupted until around 9pm last night

Angus council said Sepa advised that the North and South Esk River were at greatest risk of flooding and sand bags were being distributed, with flood prevention schemes utilised in Brechin and Arbroath.

A spokesman for Angus Council said: ‘Although red warnings are extremely rare, Angus is used to severe adverse weather conditions, and has robust resilience plans in place with local teams preparing to respond to the situation as it develops.

‘We are working closely with our resilience partners and will continue to work together as the days unfold. The focus of our energies and resources are on the areas of greatest need, focusing on preserving life and ensuring the safety of our citizens.’

David Morgan, flood duty manager for Sepa, urged people in the affected areas to check for flood updates in the coming days.

He said: ‘Storm Babet will bring heavy rain and high winds across Scotland from Wednesday evening, starting in the south-west before moving across to the north-east through Thursday and into the weekend.

‘Impacts from surface water and rivers are likely, and with catchments saturated from recent heavy rain and flooding, we’re urging people to be prepared for potential flooding.

‘There is also concern that surface-water flooding may be exacerbated by debris blocking drainage, culverts, etc. as a result of the high winds.’

A spokesperson for the British Geological Survey said: ‘Whilst the landslides will be different to last week’s failures in the West of Scotland with less potential of large-scale debris flows, there is a history of coastal landslides within the warning area. Infrastructure slopes are also likely to be affected with potential for disruption to roads and railway within the warning area.’

RNLI Water Safety Partner, Sam Hughes, said: ‘The forecasted strong winds along with heavy rain are likely to cause dangerous conditions for those visiting the coast around the UK and Ireland.

‘The RNLI advises staying a safe distance away from the water and cliff edges as the conditions could knock you off your feet or wash you into the sea. It is not worth risking your life.

‘If you see someone else in danger in the water, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard if by the coast, or the fire service if inland. If you have something that floats that they can hold on to, throw it to them. Don’t go in the water yourself – you may end up in difficulty too.’

Storm Babet, a complex area of low pressure which developed to the west of the Iberian peninsula, was named by the Met Office on Monday morning. 



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