The UK’s Met Office warned of the possibility of severe flooding and loss of life in the northern part of the country for a second day as Storm Babet continues to hammer the region.
Parts of eastern Scotland remain under a red warning from the meteorological body until midday Friday as exceptional rainfall could result in fast flowing and deep floodwaters, damage buildings and homes and lead to dangerous driving conditions. It also warned of loss of power and other essential services like gas, water and mobile phone services that could cut off some communities, “perhaps for several days.”
A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service boat was going house to house searching by torchlight in heavily flooded streets of the Angus area early on Friday morning, according to the BBC. The local council has asked residents of about 400 homes in and around the town to evacuate amid fears the River South Esk could burst its banks, the news report added.
Rainfall of up to 250 millimeters (9.8 inches) is expected in the area, which is near the cities of Perth and Dundee. A number of amber and yellow weather warnings will remain in place across Scotland and parts of England until the weekend.
The UK has felt extremes of weather this year, with some of the hottest summer months on record followed by sudden, extreme rainfall and flooding. Human-caused climate change is increasing the likelihood of such weather patterns across the world.
EON SE, one of the largest grid operators in Sweden, warned that the storm is likely to cause havoc in Scandinavia as it sweeps in late on Friday and early Saturday.
Wind gusts there will reach 20-25 meters per second, while water levels along the southern and western coast could reach record levels, according to national forecaster SMHI.
⚠️⚠️🔴 Red weather warning UPDATED 🔴⚠️⚠️
Exceptionally heavy and persistent rain across eastern Scotland due to #StormBabet
Thursday 1800 – Friday 1200
Latest info 👉 https://t.co/QwDLMfRBfs
Stay #WeatherAware ⚠️ pic.twitter.com/AhhGEuYUM2
— Met Office (@metoffice) Oct. 19, 2023
The German company has boosted staffing in the field and is preparing water pumps and other machines. The strong easterly winds are increasing the risk of trees falling over the overground power cables, it said on Friday.
The UK’s wind turbines were generating more than 50% of the country’s power as of Friday morning, according to data from National Grid Plc on Bloomberg. Wind usually makes up 25% of the country’s power mix.
Top photograph: Large storm waves in Stonehaven, Scotland. Exceptional rainfall could result in damage to buildings. Photo credit: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
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