Storm Babet live: red weather warning for east Scotland extended; major incident declared in Suffolk | Extreme weather

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Met Office extends red warning into Saturday for east Scotland

The Met Office has issued a new red warning for all day Saturday.

The initial warning was due to expire at noon on Friday, but a new warning is in place for Saturday, from midnight to midnight. It covers Angus county and parts of Aberdeenshire, representing much of the area between Dundee and Aberdeen.

A red warning means there is danger to life from fast flowing or deep flood water, extensive flooding to homes and businesses, collapsed or damaged buildings or structures, road closures and bus and train service delays and cancellations, dangerous driving conditions because of spray and flooded roads, loss of power and other essential services, such as gas, water and mobile phone service and communities completely cut off, perhaps for several days.

The Met Office said:

Prolonged and very heavy rain is expected to develop across parts of Angus and Aberdeenshire area throughout Saturday, in areas already affected by severe flooding.

Accumulations of 70-100mm are expected over a period of 18-24 hours, the highest accumulations over the hills.

Less rainfall is expected around coastal areas, but impacts from the higher rainfall further west will extend towards the coast.

Amber warnings are also in place for Saturday for much of east Scotland.

BBC meteorologist Simon King said:

While the rain has eased across eastern Scotland, the impacts of the torrential rain of the last 36 hours is being felt with severe flooding.

The lull in the rain may feel like good news but unfortunately things could go from bad to worse as further heavy rain is set to move in on Saturday.

With the ground so saturated, an additional 70-100 mm of rain expected in Angus and Aberdeenshire – particularly over the Grampians – will quickly add to the high river levels.

The threat to life and property will continue which is why the Met Office have issued this second rare red warning.

Key events

Plane comes off runway at Leeds

It has now been confirmed that a passenger plane came off the runway at Leeds Bradford airport

Emergency services are at the scene at Leeds Bradford airport.

The airport said a Tui flight from Corfu “moved off the runway while landing” and it was working to “remove passengers from the aircraft safely”.

West Midlands fire service (WMAS) has urged people not to drive through flood water after a car was pushed 30 metres down a fast-flowing river in Northfield, Birmingham.

The driver, a man believed to be in his early 40s, attempted to pass through a ford in The Mill Walk at about 8.30am on Friday, WMAS said.

His vehicle was rapidly pushed downstream into the River Rea before getting stuck, forcing the man to climb to safety on the roof of his vehicle, from where he used a tree branch to make his way to the embankment. He was led to safety by fire crews an hour after the initial 999 calls.

WMAS said he had a “lucky escape”, adding: “We repeat: Do not drive into flood water. It puts you, and our firefighters who respond, in very real danger.”

Major incident declared in Suffolk

A major incident has been declared in Suffolk, with people asked not to travel unless “absolutely essential”.

Jon Lacey, the county’s chief fire officer, said heavy rain had caused severe flooding in several areas and made driving conditions dangerous, the BBC reports.

He said:

The continuous heavy rainfall across Suffolk is causing severe flooding in several locations but is also making driving conditions more dangerous for everyone. We are therefore asking people to travel only where it is absolutely essential – for example collecting a child from school, accessing medical treatment or returning home from work.

Reducing non-essential travel means more people stay safe and pressure on the emergency services is reduced.

Although the Suffolk Resilience Forum will continue to do all it can to help protect our county, everyone needs to take precautions to ensure they do not put themselves in danger.

We are responding whilst monitoring the situation closely and while the rain is forecast to ease over the weekend, we must all take action to ensure lives are protected.

Fire services were monitoring the situation, he added.

A flight tracking account on X, formerly Twitter, says the Tui flight TOM23C from Corfu to Leeds Bradford skidded off the runway while landing during Storm Babet.

Emergency services are in attendance, it says.

Natural Resources Wales has issued nine flood warnings and 20 flood alerts as a yellow weather warning is in place across much of the country.

Some schools are shut in mid- and north Wales because of flooding nearby. Train routes in the north have also shut and flooding has caused disruption on roads.

Sunderland University has closed St Peter’s campus because of the weather.

A spokesperson said:

There will be no access to the campus today or over the weekend. The university’s city campus remains open as normal.

More than 75 people are in rest centres across the Angus region after being forced to leave their flooded homes, said Jacqui Semple, head of risk, resilience and safety for Angus council.

She said more than 50 were in the rest centre in Brechin, with 17 in the one in Montrose and nine in Forfar.

She told the PA news agency:

People are devastated. This is awful. It would be awful. Your house flooded, your belongings, the impact emotionally and physically and everything that goes with that.

They’ve got all of those people who have been affected arriving at our rest centres in such a state – wet, cold, upset and just so unbelievably upset.

She added that people had been rescued from flood water at 60 homes in and around Brechin after refusing previous evacuation efforts.

She said the village of Edzell has been completely cut off, with no emergency access except via helicopter.

Semple said the council was working with the local flood group to provide support and a rest centre had been set up there. She said homes have been evacuated in Monifieth, on the outskirts of Dundee, as well as at Marykirk, on the border with Aberdeenshire.

A video of a small housing estate in Brechin near the River South Esk shows flats that have been fully submerged in the fast-flowing water.

The video was posted on X by the Royal Meteorological Society’s Iain Cameron.

This is a small housing estate in Brechin, near to the River South Esk. The river is at its highest ever recorded level. Little wonder people were evacuated.

📹 Alison Gordon/Brechin Community FB page

— Iain Cameron (@theiaincameron) October 20, 2023

The Environment Agency’s flood warnings and flood alerts figures for England have jumped up again, to 185 warnings and 202 alerts.

The figures were at 105 and 177 just two hours ago.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) says the “highest concern” areas continue to be the North Esk and South Esk River.

A severe flood warning in the North Esk region is around Marykirk, with another flood warning for Logie Mill and Craigo. The three severe warnings in the South Esk region are in Brechin, Kinnard/Bridge of Dun, and Finavon and Tannadice.

Sepa also warns there is an increasing risk across the eastern borders of Scotland and in East Lothian.

A picture of waves crashing against a damaged lighthouse during Storm Babet has been included in this roundup of the best photos from today.

The chief executive of Aberdeenshire has said that the area has had a “tough 24 hours”.

PA reports that, speaking to BBC Scotland’s Lunchtime Live, Jim Savage said people in the region’s communities “know how to deal with bad weather”.

Savage said there were about 20 road closures and “a couple of thousand” people without power. Police were in the worst-affected areas knocking on doors and ensuring residents were prepared in case of flooding.

Savage said: “Thankfully, unlike some colleagues a bit further south, we have not had the extent of the flooding experience yet so far. But in the same way we do have concerns looking at the weather forecast.”

Savage said there had been a “small number” of people in the five rest centres set up and many others had managed to find accommodation with family or friends.

He urged residents to “take heed” of the warning to stay at home, adding: “This really is a time when it’s to really stay safe and stay at home and look after yourself, most importantly, but if we know more about particular risks we’ll be making sure people are aware.”

Storm Babet is set to continue into Saturday with widespread impact on transport and infrastructure expected, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) has said.

PA reports:

Sepa has issued 12 regional flood alerts, 16 localised flood warnings and five severe flood warnings across Scotland.

The agency said there remains a danger to life, with a large part of central and north-east Scotland expecting more severe weather throughout Friday and into Saturday.

South Aberdeenshire, Dundee and Angus and the eastern parts of Tayside have had high rainfall.

Sepa said the “highest concern” areas are the North Esk and South Esk River.

A severe flood warning in the North Esk region is around Marykirk, with another flood warning for Logie Mill and Craigo.

The three severe warnings in the South Esk region are in Brechin, Kinnard/Bridge of Dun, and Finavon and Tannadice.

Sepa also warned there was an increasing risk across the eastern borders of Scotland and in East Lothian.

Shona Robison, Scotland’s deputy first minister, is among the householders affected by overnight flooding in Dundee.

Speaking to BBC Scotland News, Robison said: “The neighbour’s house across the road is flooded, I think there have been trees blocking the burn, so it’s flowing in all directions.

“We’ve had a couple of floods here before, but nothing like this. The neighbours have been here for many more years than I have, and they say they’ve never seen anything like it.

“People are asking if anyone needs anything, but we’re just going to have to wait for it to subside. It’s very difficult to get out at the moment, but folk have been rallying round.”

Flooding from Storm Babet has led to properties being damaged in Dundee, with roads closed around the city. The council has opened a rest centre for those affected by the severe weather.

In a statement, Dundee City Council said:

“Storm Babet is bringing incredibly challenging conditions, particularly in the north and west of the city.

This includes roads disruption, flood damage to properties and fallen trees.”

“Flood gates at Broughty Ferry and Riverside have been closed due to the heavy rain and high winds.

“Sepa has issued a flood alert for Dundee and Angus.

“Residents in flood-prone areas are recommended to stock up on their own flood prevention including sandbags or door flood stops from DIY stores and builders’ merchants.”

Severin Carrell

Severin Carrell

The Guardian’s Scotland editor, Severin Carrell, has the latest on the impact of Storm Babet on Scotland and the rest of the UK:

Flooding hits Dundee

Flooding has hit Dundee as the Dighty Burn in the city’s Balmossie area burst its banks earlier, the BBC reports.

Houses adjoining the burn have been flooded and cars submerged after the water rose dramatically overnight. The nearby West Pitkerro industrial estate was also flooded.

National Rail inquiries said flooding has blocked all lines running through Swindon.

There is also major disruption in the Midlands and northern England. No trains are running between Derby and Sheffield or Nottingham.

Other routes blocked include between Walsall and Rugeley Trent Valley; between Shrewsbury and Hereford/Wolverhampton; between Hereford and Birmingham New Street.

There are also no services between Chester and Crewe; between Wrexham Central and Bidston; and between Chester and Hooton.

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