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Storm Babet passes but lengthy clean-up in store for worst-hit areas of Scotland

Weather warnings associated with Storm Babet have expired but people in the worst-hit areas of Scotland face a lengthy clean-up after substantial downpours 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 expired at midnight.

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

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.

Autumn weather October 20th 2023
Members of the emergency services help local residents to safety in Brechin (Andrew Milligan/PA)

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

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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 has claimed two lives in Scotland 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.

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
A car is seen on a bridge washed away near Dundee (Andrew Milligan/PA)

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.

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 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.

Ms 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.

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

“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.”