UK

Clean-up gets under way in flooded areas after Storm Babet passes

Angus and Aberdeenshire were badly hit by flooding (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Angus and Aberdeenshire were badly hit by flooding (Andrew Milligan/PA) Angus and Aberdeenshire were badly hit by flooding (Andrew Milligan/PA)

A lengthy clean-up is getting under way in flood-hit areas of Scotland, after Storm Babet brought unprecedented damage and disruption.

Angus and Aberdeenshire were badly hit by the storm and teams will be clearing debris from roads in the region and assessing damage to bridges.

The red and yellow weather warnings covering Dundee and the north-east of Scotland have expired and conditions are expected to improve on Sunday.

A number of flood warnings remain in place around Scotland, but more of these are expected to be removed later in the day.

The town of Brechin in Angus saw major damage, with hundreds of people evacuated from homes as the River South Esk burst its banks, flooding several streets.

Autumn weather October 21st 2023
Autumn weather October 21st 2023 Brechin suffered major damage (Neil Pooran/PA)

On Saturday, a local company placed large sandbags on an area of the river wall in Brechin which had been swept away in an effort to shore up River Street and prevent further flooding.

Resident Charlie Warden said the flooding has been “devastating” for the town.

The storm led to two deaths north of the border and searches continue for a man reported missing to police on Friday, who is said to have been trapped in a vehicle in floodwater in Marykirk, Aberdeenshire.

ScotRail said the majority of its services will be able to run as normal on Sunday, but a number of lines, including Aberdeen to Dundee and Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh, remain closed.

A 57-year-old woman died on Thursday after being swept into the Water of Lee, Glen Esk, and a 56-year-old man was killed the same day after a falling tree hit a van near Forfar in Angus.

Autumn weather October 21st 2023
Autumn weather October 21st 2023 A car on a bridge washed away by the storm near Dundee (Andrew Milligan/PA)

More than half of the staff manning a North Sea drilling platform were airlifted to other sites on Saturday after several of its anchors came loose during the storm.

Coastguard helicopters were called upon to move 45 non-essential workers from the Stena Spey to neighbouring platforms and to Sumburgh on the Shetland Islands due to the incident.

The rig is located around 146 miles east of Aberdeen.

Rest centres were set up in Angus, with more than 50 people opting to stay in one in Brechin.

On Sunday night, the council said temporary accommodation had been found for all of those who stayed at the rest centres.

Residents of nearby Bridge of Dun had to be airlifted via helicopter, while in other areas people stranded by floodwater were rescued by boats, including canoes.

On Saturday, the Scottish Government’s Resilience Room met to discuss the “exceptional” levels of rain that had fallen in parts of Scotland during the weekend.

The meeting, chaired by Justice Secretary Angela Constance, heard parts of Scotland are still dealing with the severe flooding caused by Storm Babet while some rivers remain at hazardous levels.

Autumn weather October 20th 2023
Autumn weather October 20th 2023 Flooding in Brechin (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Ms Constance said: “Storm Babet’s exceptional level of rain has severely affected parts of Scotland.

“Tragically, the storm has led to lives being lost and I send my sincere condolences to the families affected.

“The storm has caused significant damage and, while flooding is still occurring, it is not expected to be as serious as over the last 24 hours. The impact, however, will be felt in communities for some time to come.

“While many local authorities are still responding to the immediate impacts of the storm, thoughts are now turning to recovery.

“Over the coming days and weeks, we will stay in close contact with local authorities to support the people and businesses affected.”