Storm Babet live: ‘danger to life’ warnings issued and trains cancelled as wind and rain batter UK | UK weather

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Storm Babet poses ‘danger to life’ in England and Scotland

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of Storm Babet, which UK agencies are warning poses a “risk to life” as it continues to batter parts of the UK.

Three severe flood warnings issued for the River Derwent in Derbyshire.

A rare second “danger to life” red warning is also in place for parts of eastern Scotland on Saturday.

More than 100 people have been rescued from flooded areas, while dozens of people spent the night in emergency accommodation and about 4,000 people across the UK were still without power on Saturday.

The Environment Agency has put three severe flood warnings in place around the River Derwent in Derbyshire, meaning deep and fast-flowing water carries a significant risk of death or serious injury. Areas most at risk include the Derby water treatment works. There is also flooding in Derby city centre.

The Met Office warned people to expect “exceptional” amounts of heavy and persistent rainfall, deep and fast-flowing flood water, dangerous driving conditions and loss of power on Saturday.

Amber warnings for rain and possible flooding are also in place for north-east Scotland, while gales in excess of 60 to 70mph are expected across eastern Scotland and north-east England, with a yellow warning for wind in place until noon.

Key events

Sandbags have been placed along a breached river wall in Brechin to try to prevent another deluge after the town was hit by “devastating” flooding from Storm Babet.

River Street and nearby areas in the town were inundated with water when the adjacent River South Esk burst its banks in the early hours of Friday.

The water had receded on Saturday, but the area was still at risk of flooding amid a second red weather warning for heavy rain in Angus.

The street was left strewn with debris and covered in silt on Saturday, with many homes damaged by water in the lower floors.

Almost all residents had left after being advised to evacuate or were rescued by emergency workers.

Many were sheltering in rest centres set up in the town.

The unprecedented water levels of the river overtopped a flood defence wall installed in 2016, and an older section of the river wall was swept away.

Local haulage company FB Murray used lorries and diggers to move one-tonne sandbags along a section of the damaged wall in a bid to shore up the street.

Business owner Fred Murray said he had been “frustrated” by the lack of action and decided to go ahead with the work without the council’s permission.

He said: “We do a lot of work for oil and gas and wind farms, so we have an indication of what things are needed.”

Flood warnings for Kintore, Kemnay and Inverurie are in place with a flood alert covering the Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City area.

Emergency services go door to door speaking with residents and assist with putting out sandbags in Canal Road in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire as Storm Babet batters the country and a rare red weather warning is in place for parts of eastern Scotland all day on Saturday.
Emergency services go door to door speaking with residents and assist with putting out sandbags in Canal Road in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire as Storm Babet batters the country and a rare red weather warning is in place for parts of eastern Scotland all day on Saturday. Photograph: Andrew Milligan/PA
Sandbags are placed alongside a collapsed river wall on River Street in Brechin as Storm Babet batters the country and a rare red weather warning is in place for parts of eastern Scotland all day on Saturday.
Sandbags are placed alongside a collapsed river wall on River Street in Brechin as Storm Babet batters the country and a rare red weather warning is in place for parts of eastern Scotland all day on Saturday. Photograph: Neil Pooran/PA

50 people are sheltering in a community hall near Catcliffe in South Yorkshire after the flood defences for the town failed, leaving part of the village “completely engulfed” by floodwater.

“We’ve been told we can’t access our homes at all,” the chair of the parish council, Pete Devaux, told the BBC.

He said six feet of water flooded his own street and he hasn’t been able to rescue anything from his house.

“At least one of my neighbours hasn’t got any insurance and she’s lost everything. She’s got to start again.”

Police are escorting people out of homes in Derby that are near the banks of the River Derwent, the BBC reports.

Matt Weigold, a BBC Radio Derby reporter who was at the scene earlier, said: “There are flats there where there were lifeboats and police escorting people out of their homes.

“Most residents are out now but they still are knocking on doors and encouraging them to leave their homes.”

However, he said it didn’t look like water had entered homes.

In Derbyshire, Belper Town FC’s Raygar Stadium is underwater.

This was the scene earlier this morning at the Raygar Stadium.

The clubhouse has also been hit hard and we may need a few extra pairs of hands to put it right (again!)

We will post updates on here as and when we can but we need to wait for the water to subside first.

— 𝗕𝗲𝗹𝗽𝗲𝗿 𝗧𝗼𝘄𝗻 | 𝟣𝟪𝟪𝟥 (@BelperTownFC) October 21, 2023

This afternoon’s match against Newton Aycliffe FC has been postponed.

PA reports that in Bridge of Dun, in Angus, people were airlifted out via helicopter, while in other areas those stranded were rescued by boats, including canoes.

No one is now thought to be stranded.

Jacqui Semple, head of risk, resilience and safety for Angus Council, said people had been rescued from 80 to 100 homes across the region.

She told PA News: “Fortunately the Met Office update and our Sepa update this morning is showing that we have an improving picture.”

The red “danger to life” warning is now set to end at 6pm, instead of midnight.

“So that means we are looking at definite improvements in our river levels.

“We’re not out of the woods by a long shot. There’s still a lot of rain to come through, but less so, and there is still a lot of water lying right across Angus. Lots of water in the upper catchments that will still have to come down into our rivers.”

Three rest centres set up in Angus provided accommodation for some of those flooded out of their homes, with more than 50 at the one in Brechin.

A telegraph pole surrounded by flood water.
A telegraph pole surrounded by flood water. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

The Environment Agency has warned that flooding from major rivers could continue until Tuesday.

Katharine Smith, EA flood duty manager, told PA: “Following persistent, heavy rain from Storm Babet, severe river flooding impacts are probable in parts of the East Midlands and South Yorkshire today and into Sunday.

“Severe river flooding impacts are occurring on the River Derwent in Derby, where we have issued severe flood warnings, and significant impacts are also possible elsewhere across the Midlands and parts of northern England today.

“Ongoing flooding is probable on some larger rivers including the Severn, Ouse and Trent through to Tuesday.”

More than 300 flood warnings – where less dangerous flooding is expected – have been issued by the EA across England since Thursday, with the greatest numbers in Yorkshire and the East and West Midlands.

Waves at Stonehaven.
Waves at Stonehaven. Photograph: Andrew Milligan/PA

In addition to the LNER cancellations, a number of other rail services are affected by the storm.

Northern Rail said all lines between Cheadle Hulme in Greater Manchester and Wilmslow, Cheshire, are blocked due to damage to overhead electric wires.

Services are also not running from Sheffield to Nottingham or Lincoln due to flooding.

Trains are also unable to travel between Leeds and Doncaster, Harrogate and Bradford.

The line between Newcastle and Morpeth is also closed due to viaduct damage, Northern Rail added.

Avanti West Coast said its services are severely disrupted and has asked customers to not travel between Crewe and North Wales and that people should only travel between Preston and Glasgow or Edinburgh if absolutely necessary.

London’s King’s Cross train station closes

King’s Cross train station in London has been forced to close due to overcrowding on the platforms, brought on on by storm-induced delays and cancellations.

Network Rail said crowd control measures were due to the disruption to LNER services.

A spokesperson said:

While many of the country’s rail services are running well today, we’re sorry to say that there is still severe disruption in areas worst hit by Storm Babet, including Scotland, the North East and East Midlands.

In particular, King’s Cross station has crowd control measures in place this afternoon while LNER services to the North East are severely disrupted. We are asking people to check before they travel today, to avoid wasted journeys.

Faisal Ali

In Stirlingshire, Scotland, a dog walker captured mesmerising footage showing powerful winds from Storm Babet lifting the forest floor.

David Nugent-Malone was walking his dog, as a seem in the ground begun caught in Babate’s winds caused floor of the forest to sway up and down. Here is the clip:

Dog walker captures moment forest floor lifts due to Storm Babet in Scotland – video

BBC Radio 5 Live has a report from Marie Breitstrecher, the manager of the Wheatsheaf inn in Baslow, near Chatsworth house in Derbyshire.

After the River Derwent broke its banks nearby, she and her team helped their neighbours to safety.

“The elderly couple next to us have a bungalow literally next to the river. Their whole bungalow is underwater and they stayed as long as possible,” she told the radio station.

“It went from 0 to 100 within 15 minutes. We were like, ‘you need to leave, now’”.

She said that the waters have since started to recede but there was still debris on the roads and large holes in the roads.

“There’s no power on the opposite side of the road, so we’re just waiting for a bit of sunlight so we can go and assist.” she added.

“It was a community effort.”

Flooding in Cromford in Derbyshire.
Flooding in Cromford in Derbyshire. Photograph: @HebLongbottom/PA

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