Storm Babet: Third person dies as parts of UK hit by unprecedented rain

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

A third person has lost their life as Storm Babet continues to batter the UK.

A man in his 60s died after getting caught in fast-flowing flood water in the town of Cleobury Mortimer in Shropshire on Friday, West Mercia Police said, following the deaths of two people in Scotland.

It came as Storm Babet caused widespread flooding and high winds on Friday afternoon, forcing a passenger plane to skid off a runway at Leeds Bradford Airport, which later closed.

Prior to the man's death in Shropshire, another man died after his van was hit by a falling tree on the B9127, at Whigstreet near Forfar in Scotland, on Thursday.

Police Scotland said on Friday: "Emergency services attended, however, the 56-year-old driver was pronounced dead at the scene. Next of kin have been informed and a report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal. The road remains closed.”

A 57-year-old woman also died on Thursday, after she was swept into a river in Angus amid gale-force winds and flooding.

As England, Wales and Northern Ireland faced warnings about heavy rain, Scotland continued to bear the brunt with flood defences in the town of Brechin being breached early on Friday.

Emergency crews were on Friday trying to rescue people in Angus - the town hardest hit by the unprecedented flooding caused by Storm Barbet.

Roads and bridges collapsed as Storm Babet hit Scotland amid feared theh tiny village could be completely cut off for a second time, as First Minister Humza Yousaf warned “we have not seen the last of this”.

A 200-year-old bridge on the Rottal Estate in Angus was washed away by torrential flood water, while a road connecting Marykirk, Angus, where some houses were evacuated also collapsed.

The village of Edzell, Angus, was cut off by flood water from three rivers which surround it, but most of the surface water drained away, leaving residents fearful of more rain forecast overnight.

Angus Council, which serves the town near the eastern Scottish coast, said parts of Brechin are only accessible by boat and added: “Angus is in the middle of a very serious emergency. Flooding is unprecedented. Levels are over half a metre over the last highest ever.”

Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf said: “I cannot stress how dangerous conditions are in Brechin in particular.”

And Brechin councillor Jill Scott said: “It’s horrific. It’s just absolutely horrendous. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

She said people had been trapped for hours, warning: “There will be hundreds of houses flooded.”

Another Brechin councillor, Gavin Nicol, warned some people may not be able to get back in their homes by Christmas, adding: “It’s just a disaster. The water is not going down, it is still rising.”

Angus Council said rescue crews are dealing with around 100 calls in areas of Brechin which had been asked to evacuate.

Fire crews and the Coastguard began evacuating residents on Thursday night – knocking on residents’ doors advising them to leave.

Meanwhile major incidents have been declared in both Derbyshire and Suffolk.

The Environment Agency said homes could be flooded in 45 areas of England and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency also warned there is a “danger to life” due to widespread flooding in five areas of Scotland, with flooding expected in a further 16 areas.

Gusts in excess of 60mph are likely on Friday, with particularly poor conditions on immediate coastlines with large waves adding to the list of hazards.

Flooding caused 70-minute delays on the A1 near Grantham, National Highways said, while further south, Suffolk declared a major incident on Friday as Storm Badet caused “major flooding” across the county.

In an update on its website, Suffolk County Council urged residents not to travel unless “absolutely necessary”.

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service said a major incident had also been declared in the county.

In a post on social media site X, formerly Twitter, the service also advised people not travel unless essential until further notice this weekend.

The post added: “Do not ignore road closed signs.”

A statement posted on the service’s website added: “Most roads in Derbyshire are affected by flooding and many are closed.

“We are calling on our communities to follow the advice below to keep safe: Do not travel unless essential from now until further information is available later in the weekend. Continue to watch for weather and flooding updates. Look out for vulnerable neighbours, especially if they have care services who may not be able to reach them.

“Never drive or walk into floodwater, even if it appears shallow – it could endanger your life.”

Several major road sections and rail routes are closed in Scotland, while air passengers are facing flight cancellations.

Flooding has also blocked several rail lines across northern England, the Midlands and north Wales.

The rare Met Office red weather warning began at 6pm on Thursday and has been expanded to include Dundee, Perth and Kinross, as well as Angus and Aberdeenshire, where 20ft waves were seen crashing in Stonehaven harbour.

There are four different yellow flood alerts in place which cover large parts of London.

Amber warnings for wind and rain have been issued for parts of northern England, the Midlands and northern Wales from noon on Friday to 6am on Saturday.

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