Britain braces for Babet: Storm unleashes chaos in Ireland as Met Office 'danger to life' warning comes into force in UK

19 October 2023, 10:42

Homes, cars and businesses have been destroyed by Storm Babet in Ireland
Homes, cars and businesses have been destroyed by Storm Babet in Ireland. Picture: social media/Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Britain is bracing for Storm Babet, which caused chaos in Cork, Ireland, on Wednesday, leaving homes, businesses and cars destroyed.

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A 'danger to life' warning has been in place in Scotland since 10am, where in the east of the country, a rare red warning will come to force at 6pm on Thursday.

Babet, the second named storm of the season, wreaked havoc in Ireland yesterday, with supermarkets and businesses destroyed by heavy flooding.

There was also heavy flooding at Midleton Hospital in Cork, with entire patient rooms and the car park affected.

Meanwhile, this is the shocking moment a car was washed away in floodwater as Storm Babet wreaked havoc in Cork, Ireland.

Footage posted online shows the red car being swept away by a strong current of floodwater, with rescue officers unable to stop it in its tracks.

Kayaks were used by rescue officials as stranded families watched on in despair, with a number of cars washed away by the floodwater in the Cork area.

Concerned residents spoke of fleeing their homes and the area in the wake of the brutal storm, with several businesses and homes affected.

Storm Babet will bring 70mph gusts and over one month's worth of rain in the worst-affected regions of the UK on Thursday.

A yellow weather warning has been in place covering most of Scotland from 6am today, with an additional amber warning for wind covering the east of the country.

Read More: Exact date Storm Babet to end as Britain to be battered by heavy rain for several days

Read More: Rare red weather warning issued ahead of Storm Babet as 'exceptional rainfall' expected to cause severe flooding

A rare red weather warning will come into force from 6pm on Thursday, which means "exceptional rainfall is expected to cause severe flooding and disruption", according to the Met Office.

It is the first red warning for rain issued in the UK since Storm Dennis in February 2020.

What to expect from a red weather warning

Storm Babet brings huge waves crashing into Teignmouth, Devon
Storm Babet brings huge waves crashing into Teignmouth, Devon. Picture: Alamy

According to the Met Office, the following is likely during a red weather warning:

  • Danger to life from floodwater
  • Extensive flooding to homes and businesses
  • Collapsed or damaged buildings/structures
  • Road closures and public transport delays/cancellations
  • Dangerous driving conditions
  • Loss of power and other essential services, including as gas, water, mobile phone service
  • Communities completely cut off, perhaps for several days
A supermarket flooded in Cork on Wednesday
A supermarket flooded in Cork on Wednesday. Picture: social media

Met Office forecaster Greg Dewhurst said: "We're going to see prolonged heavy rain, where we could see 200 to 250 millimetres 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 60 to 70 miles an hour, just adding to the extremely dangerous weather coming for parts of Scotland."

According to the Met Office, Storm Babet will last until Saturday.