Scotland begins picking up the pieces after ‘exceptional’ storm

Swept away by torrential rain and raging floods, this wrecked car testifies to the power of the extreme weather event.

Swept away by torrential rain and raging floods, this wrecked car testifies to the power of the extreme weather event. Photo: Getty

The worst-hit areas of Scotland face a lengthy delay and a lot of hard work to recover from the damage inflicted by extreme weather event Storm Babet led to widespread flooding.

A red warning meaning danger to life was lifted on Saturday evening, along with an amber alert for parts of the Scottish Highlands. A yellow weather warning across much of Perth and Kinross, Dundee, Angus and Aberdeenshire.

It comes after 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 were in the midst of dealing with the severe flooding caused by Storm Babet while some rivers remain at hazardous levels.

There remain 14 flood warnings covering places such as Kintore, Kemnay and Inverurie in Aberdeenshire and Strath Oykel and Strath Carron in Caithness and Sutherland.

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.

The storm claimed two lives in Scotland and one in England. Searches continue for a man reported missing on Friday, who is said to have been trapped in a vehicle in floodwaters in Marykirk, Aberdeenshire.

North Sea evacuation

More than half 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.

Rest centres were set up in Angus with more than 50 people opting to stay in one in Brechin after they were evacuated from their homes as the River South Esk breached the town’s flood defences early on Friday morning.

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.

Constance said: “Storm Babet’s exceptional level of rain has severely impacted 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.”


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