Two people die due to the storm in Scotland as a new red warning is issued
Another person died as Storm Babbitt brought strong winds, heavy rain and severe flooding to parts of Scotland.
The Met Office has now issued a new red ‘danger to life’ warning for some eastern areas.
Police confirmed that a fallen tree collided with a lorry near Forfar in Angus on Thursday, killing the 56-year-old driver.
The body of a 57-year-old woman who was swept away by the waters of a flooded river was also recovered on Thursday evening.
A search is still underway in Aberdeenshire after reports emerged that a driver was trapped in floodwaters overnight.
The storm caused severe flooding in some areas in northeastern Scotland, with rescue operations continuing in and around the Angus town of Brechin.
The Met Office’s new red warning runs from midnight for the whole of Saturday for parts of Angus and Aberdeenshire.
Meteorologists said another 70 to 100 mm of rain was expected in areas already affected by severe flooding. The area is similar to that covered by the previous red warning, which expired midday on Friday.
In Brechin, rescue teams went house to house with torches during the night to help people get to safety.
Angus Council said they had responded to more than 100 calls from people staying at home despite warnings to evacuate.
About 60 families were rescued in Brechin in the early hours of the morning, while others were awaiting rescue on Friday afternoon in other areas of Angus such as Marykerke and Edzell.
The city’s flood defenses were overcome at around 04:00, with river levels rising 4.4 meters (14 ft) above normal and continuing to rise.
The council had earlier urged residents of about 400 homes in and around the town to evacuate as the South Esk River was expected to burst its banks.
More than 40 people arrived at one rest stop with wet clothes during the night. Dry clothes, food and toiletries were donated by local residents following an appeal from the council.
Police Scotland said the latest fatality occurred at around 17:05 on Thursday when a fallen tree collided with a lorry on the B9127 at Whigstreet, near Forfar.
Police said: “Emergency services attended, but the 56-year-old driver was pronounced dead at the scene.” Relatives have been informed and the road remains closed.
In Aberdeenshire, a helicopter search is underway after reports of a man trapped in a car by floodwaters near Marykirk at 03:00. People are urged to avoid the area.
Angus Council said that in addition to about 335 properties in Brechin, a further 87 households in the neighboring villages of Tannadice and Finavon were told to evacuate “for their own safety” ahead of the red alert.
People leaving their homes have been urged to turn off their electricity and water supplies before doing so.
Respite centers opened at the Montrose Sports Center and the Brechin and Forfar community campuses on Thursday afternoon, with people asked to bring their own sleeping bags and any supplies and medication they will need. Pets welcome.
By mid-afternoon on Friday, the facility in Brechin was caring for more than 50 people, 17 of them at the Montrose Respite Center and another nine at the center in Forfar.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) said severe flood warnings were issued for Brechin, Marykerk, Logie Mill, Craiggo, Finavon, Tannadice and Kinnaird/Bridge of Don. By midday on Friday, 16 flood warnings were in force across Scotland.
Seba said 100mm (4 inches) of rain fell widely across Tayside, Angus and Berwickshire over 24 hours, with some areas seeing 150mm (6 inches).
Several roads were closed, including the A90 between Stonehaven and Dundee. Waves up to 20 feet high were seen crashing into the harbor wall at Stonehaven.
SSEN, which provides electricity to homes in northern Scotland, said 28,000 customers were without power during the storm.
More than 24,000 people had been reconnected by lunchtime on Friday, but 4,000 remained without supplies.
ScotRail said the storm caused severe disruption, with no trains or replacement bus services running on five of its lines until early Saturday.
These were Aberdeen, Elgin, Edinburgh, Aberdeen via Fife, Dunblane, Perth, Perth and Aviemore and all Fife Circle services.
Several SPFL football matches have been called off on Saturday, including Aberdeen v Dundee and St Johnstone v Motherwell in the Premier League.
Brechin is used to floods but no one here can remember anything like this.
The town’s defenses were breached in the early hours of this morning as floodwaters inundated residential areas, submerging dozens of homes and leaving many people trapped, some of whom ignored Angus Council’s advice to evacuate.
Throughout the morning, firefighters and Coast Guard crews went door-to-door, checking homes and using boats to move families to safety.
At River Street, where flood defenses have been overshadowed by South Esk, the level has fallen somewhat but the road remains submerged, with the top half of a bus stop sign visible above the surface.
On the river itself, roaring brown water still flows, carrying debris including, at one point, a huge tree, whose leaves turn brown and yellow in early fall.
Storm Babbitt has been devastating elsewhere as well — and deadly.
A 56-year-old man was killed when a fallen tree collided with his truck near Forfar. A 57-year-old woman was swept to her death in the waters of a lee in Glen Esk. A helicopter was used to search for a man reported to be trapped in his car in Marykerke.
Meteorologists say the threat is not over yet. The Met Office has issued a second red warning for heavy rain – meaning there is a continuing risk to life – for Angus and Aberdeenshire tomorrow.
What is a red weather warning?
Red is the brightest of the Met Office’s three colored weather warnings.
This means that hazardous weather is expected, and if you haven’t already done so, you should take action now to keep yourself and others safe from the impact of severe weather.
It is very likely that there will be a risk to life, with major disruptions to travel and power supplies and possibly widespread damage to property and infrastructure.
You should avoid travel, where possible, and follow the advice of emergency services and local authorities.
You can read more about the weather warning system here.
Schools in Angus remained closed on Friday and Highland Council announced it would put defense mechanisms in Kingussie, including around the secondary school.
Elsewhere in the UK, yellow weather warnings for “persistent heavy rain” came into force in parts of northern England and the Midlands, from noon on Friday until 06:00 on Saturday.
Meanwhile, a Met Office yellow warning for rain has also been issued for Northern Ireland until 09:00 on Saturday.
Storm Babbitt hit Ireland on Wednesday after sweeping across the Atlantic Ocean, bringing heavy rain and causing widespread flooding in parts of the country.
More than 100 properties were flooded in the southern town of Middleton, and the Irish Defense Forces were deployed to help.
Cork County Council said more than a month’s worth of rain fell in 24 hours, leading to unprecedented flooding, land logging and rising river levels across the county.
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