Scottish town told to evacuate as Storm Babet batters UK and Met Office issues red 'danger to life' warning

19 October 2023, 12:39 | Updated: 19 October 2023, 15:23

Brechin has been told to evacuate as Storm Babet hits
Brechin has been told to evacuate as Storm Babet hits. Picture: Alamy/Angus Council

By Will Taylor

Hundreds of homes in a Scottish town have been told to evacuate in the face of Storm Babet as a severe flood warning was put in place.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

About 335 homes in Brechin, Angus, have been told to leave as 10,000 homes across Scotland lost power - with about three-quarters eventually regaining it.

A total of 87 homes in Tannadice and Finavon are also being evacuated.

The council is sending officials to go door-to-door warning people to escape, while three rest centres have opened for people needing shelter in Brechin, Montrose and Forfar.

Sandbags have been used to help protect homes from floods across Angus but the council has warned of a limited supply.

"Due to limited numbers and the importance of prioritising the most vulnerable properties and people, residents should carefully consider whether they require sandbags," it said.

Sandbags laid to protect homes in Brechin
Sandbags laid to protect homes in Brechin. Picture: Alamy
Brechin is under a rare red warning
Brechin is under a rare red warning. Picture: Met Office

Britain is being battered by Storm Babet, which already caused chaos in Cork, Ireland, on Wednesday, leaving homes, businesses and cars destroyed.

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. It comes just days after parts of Scotland flooded.

A new amber warning for rain was also issued for parts of northern England, the Midlands and Wales.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency said the country will see "exceptional weather" and the eastern coastal areas will experience dangerous conditions.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution warned "these conditions could knock you off your feet or wash you into the sea" if people get too close to the water or cliff edges.

There are fears sewers could flood as they are overwhelmed by rain water, and Scottish Water has readied staff to tackle any problems.

Landslides could also happen, with the area under weather warnings prone to them, the British Geological Survey warned.

"Infrastructure slopes are also likely to be affected with potential for disruption to roads and railway within the warning area," it said.

Storm Babet is hitting the UK with eastern Scotland particularly vulnerable to bad conditions
Storm Babet is hitting the UK with eastern Scotland particularly vulnerable to bad conditions. Picture: Alamy

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.