Storm Babet latest: Met Office issues red weather warning, flooding in Ireland, UK braces for heavy wind & rain

A rare red weather warning stating a “risk to life” has been issued as Storm Babet is expected to batter the UK on Thursday.

The UK is bracing itself for heavy wind and rain as Storm Babet sweeps in from across the Atlantic. The Met Office has issued a rare red weather alert for parts of the country, warning of a “risk to life”.

Storm Babet, a complex area of low pressure which developed to the west of the Iberian Peninsula, was named by the Met Office on Monday morning. The second named storm of the season will last until Saturday, the forecaster said, and is expected to cause flooding, power cuts and travel disruption.

National World will be updating this live blog with the latest news as the extreme weather conditions continue to batter the nation.

Storm Babet latest as extreme weather conditions continue to batter the UK

Train services cancelled in Scotland as Storm Babet picks up

Train services in areas expected to be hit worst by "unprecedented" weather have been cancelled as Storm Babet continues to pick up steam.

Scotrail services in a number of lines have been cancelled from this morning (19 October) until Saturday morning (21 October). This includes:

  • Aberdeen & Elgin
  • Edinburgh & Aberdeen via Fife
  • Perth & Aberdeen via Dundee
  • Dunblane & Perth
  • Perth & Aviemore
  • Tain & Wick / Thurso
  • All Fife Circle services

New amber weather warning in place for northern England, the Midlands and Wales

The Met Office has issued a new amber warning for rain for parts of northern England, the Midlands and Wales.

The warning will remain in place from 12pm on Friday 20 October to 6am on Saturday 21 October. Around 40mm to 60mm is expected in most areas covered by the warning, although rainfall could reach between 60mm and 80mm in higher areas.

The Met Office has warned that homes and businesses could be flooded. Some communities maybe cut off due to flooded roads, and rivers are being advised to take caution on roads.

BREAKING: Entire town in Scotland told to evacuate due to Storm Babet

Residents in the town of Brechin have been told they must evacuate the area as the dangerous weather in the north-east of the country continues to swell.

Angus Council have said that all residents should leave their homes in Brechin, located in Angus, Scotland. a severe flood warning is set to be put in place for the area around the Brechin River and South Esk.

Council workers will shortly be chapping on doors to help assist and inform those living in the area that they will need to leave their homes.

Flood defences have been erected in Brechin, Scotland as Storm Babet continues to pick up steam but all residents have now been instructed to leave the town. (Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire)Flood defences have been erected in Brechin, Scotland as Storm Babet continues to pick up steam but all residents have now been instructed to leave the town. (Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire)
Flood defences have been erected in Brechin, Scotland as Storm Babet continues to pick up steam but all residents have now been instructed to leave the town. (Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire) | Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Met Office extends Storm Babet red warning area in Scotland

Hundreds of residents have been told to evacuate their homes amid a red weather warning as Storm Babet sweeps across Scotland.

Angus Council is evacuating more than 400 homes in the red weather warning area “for their own safety”, with three rest centres set up.

Two further rest centres are being prepared in Aberdeenshire, for residents unable to remain in their homes.

Waves crash over the harbour on October 19, 2023 in Stonehaven, Scotland.Waves crash over the harbour on October 19, 2023 in Stonehaven, Scotland.
Waves crash over the harbour on October 19, 2023 in Stonehaven, Scotland. | Getty Images

The Met Office has extended the weather warning from the initial warning area to cover the area north of Perth and Aberfeldy.

Angus Council said: “Over the past few days, resilience colleagues have been working with Sepa to identify areas at most risk of flooding due to the unprecedented level of rain that is expected to fall across Angus.

“Sepa have advised of a possible severe flood warning.

“As a result, we have identified approximately 335 homes in Brechin, and an additional 87 homes in Tannadice and Finavon where residents will be asked to evacuate for their own safety.”

Those affected are advised to attend three rest centres that have been set up in the area.

These are at Brechin Community Campus, Montrose Sports Centre and Forfar Community Campus.

Residents are advised to bring their own sleeping bags, pillows and any required medication.

At the Brechin Community Campus, shortly after 3pm, it appeared largely empty and media were not permitted inside by staff.

Aberdeenshire Council rest centres at Stonehaven Community Centre and Mearns Campus at Laurencekirk were opening from about 4pm.

Met Office: 'A rare red rain warning is now in force'

The Met Office has announced the start of the rare red warning for rain.

Greenpeace UK: Storm Babet causes havoc in Ireland

According to Greenpeace UK, Storm Babet has already caused havoc in Ireland.

Rest centres stood up for affected residents in Scotland

Aberdeenshire Council said rest centres are being stood up from 8.30pm in light of SEPA’s flood warnings for Inverurie, Kemnay and Kintore.

Met Office: Friday remains unsettled for most parts of the UK

Friday is set to remain unsettled for much of the UK, the Met Office says.

10,000 homes in Scotland lost power due to Storm Babet

Around 10,000 homes in Scotland lost power due to the storm, according to the Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN).

The energy provider said it had restored services to 7,000 homes and engineers were “working to reconnect” around 3,000 more properties.

Mass train cancellations have been imposed by ScotRail, expected to last from Thursday until Saturday.

A boat owner braves the conditions inside the harbour to secure boats in Stonehaven on the east coast of Scotland on October 19, 2023, as wind and rain from Storm Babet cause travel chaos. A boat owner braves the conditions inside the harbour to secure boats in Stonehaven on the east coast of Scotland on October 19, 2023, as wind and rain from Storm Babet cause travel chaos.
A boat owner braves the conditions inside the harbour to secure boats in Stonehaven on the east coast of Scotland on October 19, 2023, as wind and rain from Storm Babet cause travel chaos. | Getty

The storm could bring up to 220mm of rain in some areas of eastern Scotland, an amount close to the highest ever 24-hour total for a “rainfall day”, Met Office figures show.

Some 238mm of rain was measured at Sloy Main Adit in Argyll & Bute between 9am on January 17 1974 and 9am the following day.

The storm is expected to rage overnight and into the weekend, with amber warnings for wind and rain issued for parts of northern England, the Midlands and northern Wales from noon on Friday to 6am on Saturday.

But amber warnings still raise the prospect of injuries and danger to life, power cuts and damage to buildings and flooding.

A yellow warning for Northern Ireland is also in place from 3am on Friday to 9am on Saturday.

A further yellow rain warning covering the north and east of England and north Wales is also in place from midnight on Thursday to 6am on Saturday.

Storm Babet hit Ireland on Wednesday after sweeping in from the Atlantic, bringing with it heavy rainfall and causing extensive flooding in parts of the country.

Members of the Irish Defence Forces were deployed in the town of Midleton, Co Cork, in the south of Ireland, where more than 100 properties were flooded.

Cork County Council said more than a month’s worth of rain had fallen in the space of 24 hours, leading to unprecedented flooding, saturated land and high river levels across the county.

Derbyshire firefighters urge people to prepare for arrival of Storm Babet

Derbyshire firefighters are calling for people to be prepared and take extra care as the county prepares for the arrival of Storm Babet. 

Significant rainfall is expected from Thursday into Saturday morning, bringing rising river levels, fast flowing water, localised flooding, and surface water on roads across the county. 

An Amber warning is being issued by the Met Office for parts of Derbyshire, meaning there is a risk to life.  

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service Group Manager Rob Leverton said "Storm Babet is expected to bring significant rainfall to parts of Derbyshire from Thursday into Saturday morning.  

“We are calling on members of the community to take extra care and prepare for the impact of the increased rainfall. This is expected to cause localised flooding, high and fast flowing rivers, and surface water across many of Derbyshire’s roads.  

 “I’d strongly encourage everyone to sign up to the Environmental Agencies flood warnings which will allow communities to understand their own local risk and what they can do to prepare for any impact. 

 “I would also like to call on motorists and members of the public to take extra care whether they are on the roads, or out walking over the coming days. Please do not ignore ‘road closed’ signs as these warn of danger, and please drive to the road conditions!  

 “As we head into the weekend and more people go out walking or running, we are also asking people to keep away from fast flowing rivers. Banks and footpaths will be extremely slippery and may have become unstable due to the weather. Walkers should also keep dogs on leads and away from the water’s edge.” 

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