Storm Babet keeps battering Britain as three die and 55k without power

Storm Babet keeps battering Britain: 70mph gales and heavy rain hammer Scotland and the north with red ‘danger to life’ warning as three die and 55,000 were left without power

  • Severe Scots weather warning issued as hundreds of flood alerts hit England

Storm Babet shows no signs of abating as downpours continue to batter much of the UK on Saturday following three deaths in ‘biblical’ conditions.

A second rare red ‘danger to life’ weather warning has been issued for parts of Angus and Aberdeenshire on Scotland’s east coast after Friday’s chaos, prompting First Minister Humza Yousaf to warn: ‘We have not seen the last of this.’

Yellow and amber warnings in place across large swathes of England have been lifted save for a yellow ‘be aware’ alert for wind that stretches from Whitby in Yorkshire all the way up to Aberdeen.

But flood warnings remain: across England, there were over 353 warnings and 248 alerts on Saturday morning, while 55,000 people were left without power on Friday; 45,000 of those were reconnected last night, the Energy Networks Association said.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency says it has 12 flood alerts, 17 flood warnings and five severe flood warnings in place; 25 flood alerts and 12 warnings have been issued by Natural Resources Wales.

CHESTERFIELD: A group of young men got stuck on top of their car in Grassmoor; witnesses say they were rescued by a crew in a rubber dinghy

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE: A BMW sits partially submerged on a waterlogged road in the East Midlands

LEEDS: A Toyota 4×4 braves the floods on Friday as it passes through Allerton Bywater in West Yorkshire

Weather alerts for central and southern England have been lifted – though a red ‘danger to life’ alert remains in place for eastern Scotland

Hundreds of flood alerts and warnings remain in place across England and eastern and northern Scotland

READ MORE: Storm Babet? No problem! Students make light of foul weather as they brave the wind and rain to enjoy a night out on the town

A yellow Met Office alert for rain remain in place for most of central and north-eastern Scotland, with amber rain warnings across Highland Perthshire and the eastern Highlands north of Inverness. 

The forecaster said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, the highest rainfall total on Friday was 84mm in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.

Met forecaster Jonathan Vautrey told the PA news agency: ‘The focus of the rainfall from Saturday shifts back northwards over towards eastern and northern Scotland.

‘Some parts of those areas have seen about a month and a half’s worth of rain already, but there’s another band that’s forecast to track its way northwards over the course of the night and push its way towards relatively similar areas.

‘So there are further red and amber rain warnings in force for Saturday, with the potential to push those areas close towards two months of rain in the span of three days.’

Mr Vautrey said the yellow wind warning across eastern Scotland and north-east England could bring ‘gales in excess of 60-70 miles per hour’, but added: ‘That is going to work its way off (the coast) throughout Saturday, so from a wind aspect there will be some improvement.’

The storm has claimed the lives of three people since Thursday including two in Angus, Scotland: a 57-year-old woman who died after being swept into a river and a 56-year-old man in the region who was killed by a falling tree that struck his van.

A man in his 60s died after getting caught in fast-flowing flood water in Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire on Friday; police found his body two hours after he disappeared under the water.

CAMBRIDGESHIRE: Flooding around St Ives, five miles east of Huntingdon, on Saturday morning after the Great River Ouse burst its banks

DERBYSHIRE: Vehicles lie abandoned in flood water in Chesterfield early on Saturday morning

YORK: A Nissan Micra sits abandoned in a waterlogged street in the city centre as the River Ouse burst its banks

CHESTERFIELD: The great clean-up begins in the Derbyshire market town as a worker clears out a drain

CAMBRIDGESHIRE: Huntingdon Race Course in Cambridgeshire is submerged after the Alconbury Brook burst its banks on Friday

DERBYSHIRE: The terrifying moment a school bus full of screaming children floods

DERBYSHIRE: Major rail routes have been affected by flooding – this image, from Network Rail, shows flooding at Clay Cross in the East Midlands

READ MORE: Passengers on TUI flight that skidded off the runway at Leeds Bradford airport in Storm Babet weather chaos say they knew ‘this is not going to stop’ 

Elsewhere, Storm Babet has wrought chaos, grinding train services to a halt as railway lines were flooded and roads were waterlogged, submerging vehicles in the streets. Roads across the country are dotted with abandoned and flooded cars.

Julie Foley, director of flood strategy and adaptation at the Environment Agency, has warned people not to drive through flood waters, urging those in deluged areas to ‘really consider their travel plans’.

She told BBC One’s Breakfast programme on Saturday: ‘So if you receive a flood warning that means you need to take action right now, it means there is an immediate risk and you need to keep yourself safe, your family safe, move precious belongings to a safe place, and listen to the advice of local emergency services, as well as do some basics like turn off your gas, electricity and water in your home.

‘And if you receive a severe flood warning, that means there is a risk to life, and it’s very important that you listen to the advice if you’re asked to evacuate and take action. We’ve sadly seen over the last couple of days just how dangerous flood waters can be.

‘It’s really important that people stay away from swollen rivers. It’s very, very important that people don’t drive through flood waters, all it takes is up to 30 centimetres of fast flowing water to actually move a car.

‘So I would really urge people to really consider their travel plans. I’m very, very aware there’s an enormous amount of travel disruption going on across the country at the moment.’

In Nottinghamshire, fire and rescue service staff came to the aid of four people trapped on the roof of their car after it got stuck in flood waters in Trowell, a few miles west of Nottingham. 

LEEDS: Emergency services at the scene after a passenger plane came off the runway at Leeds Bradford Airport while landing in windy conditions

Emergency services at the scene after a passenger plane came off the runway at Leeds Bradford Airport

The photos show the plane stuck in thick mud after it skidded off the runway on landing. No one is thought to have been hurt in the crash

FIFE: Waves break over Dysart harbour wall on the east coast of Scotland during storm Babet

SUFFOLK: Simon O’Brien (left) using his homemade boat, which he built for his grandchildren, to rescue elderly residents from their home in the village of Debenham

BRECHIN: A woman is helped to safety by rescue workers as flood waters devastated streets of the Scottish town. Local authorities say much of the area is ‘now only accessible via boat’ 

BRECHIN: A member of the emergency services helps resident Laura Demontis from a house as Storm Babet batters the country

READ MORE: What is a red ‘danger to life’ warning? Met Office weather alert level explained 

And a ‘major incident’ was declared in Derbyshire where footage showed a school bus flooding as screaming schoolchildren pull their legs up onto their seats.

Moments before the water gushes in, one pupil can be seen gesturing to the others to move up to the higher deck of the bus. The children’s screams of terror increase as the water rises and one shouts: ‘No, no, no, no.’ 

Yesterday, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue urged people not to travel, adding that it had rescued 60 people after floods occurred in Brampton, Chesterfield with residents moved to a rescue centre.

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

The rural village of Debenham was cut off by flooding, residents said, while tractors were being used to rescue people caught in the flood water.

Around 50 people were sheltering in the local leisure centre there and sleeping on crash mats, staff said.

Elsewhere fire services in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire shared pictures on X of vehicles semi-submerged in water after drivers were rescued.

Clive Stanbrook, area manager at Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service, told BBC Breakfast on Saturday more than 100 people had been rescued on Friday, including 20 people from a care home in Duffield.

The ‘unprecedented’ weather event has already forced some residents in eastern Scotland to evacuate their homes, cut off rural communities, and caused roads and bridges to collapse.

Parts of eastern Scotland could see a further 70-100 mm of rain today, with the highest accumulations over the hills. Further rain is also expected more widely across Wales, northern England and the Midlands. 

More than 75 people were in rescue centres in Angus, east Scotland, while Angus Council said people in more than 60 homes in Brechin, who refused previous evacuation attempts, required rescue.

Jacqui Semple, head of risk, resilience and safety for Angus Council, said: ‘People are devastated. This is awful.

‘It would be awful. Your house flooded, your belongings, the impact emotionally and physically and everything that goes with that.

‘They’ve got all of those people who have been affected arriving at our rest centres in such a state – wet, cold, and just so unbelievably upset.’

Passengers on a Tui flight had to be evacuated from a plane at Leeds Bradford Airport after it came off the runway as it landed.

SUNDERLAND: Sea foam coats the beachfront at Seaburn as violent waves are whipped up by Storm Babet

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE: Severe rainfall saw streets in Hucknall flooded on Thursday afternoon

BRECHIN: A woman walks through flood waters as residents are asked to evacuate by the local authorities

DUNDEE: Flood waters surround cars and houses along Heron Rise after the nearby Dighty Water broke its banks

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE: A woman carries her dog while wading through floodwater in Hucknall on Thursday

Flight TOM3551, which departed from Corfu just after 12.30pm local time (10.30am BST), was attempting to land at the airport in strong winds when the Boeing 737-800 slipped off the tarmac and was left stranded on the grass.

The airport’s emergency siren is understood to have activated when the aircraft careered off the runway upon landing at around 1.53pm BST. Witnesses described it as a ‘hard landing’.

There were no reports of any injuries, operator Tui said.

Malcolm Fell, who was on the flight, described the incident as ‘a little bit dramatic’ but everyone onboard was ‘quite calm’. 

Recalling his experience, he said: ‘The plane came down and the pilot applied reverse thrust on the brakes and it started to aquaplane,’ adding ‘it seemed to speed up rather than slow down’.

‘My wife, [who] was sat next to me, turned to me and said I think you better brace yourself because this is not going to stop. 

‘And then all of a sudden…we were at a standstill on the grass,’ he said.

Passenger Mr Fell said the left side of the plane was ‘covered in mud’ following the landing. 

‘Everybody was quite calm, there was no screaming  or drama or anything like that.

‘It took us about an hour to get us off the plane because the emergency services kicked in to make sure that the plane was secure before they evacuated us.’

He added: ‘Great thanks to the airport – they worked really well to get people off the plane.’

Footage showed the plane being quickly surrounded by emergency vehicles, including three ambulances, as they worked to try and evacuate passengers.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said there were no reported injuries and no fire. But all flights in and out of Leeds Bradford Airport were temporarily halted with some arrivals diverted to other airports including Manchester.

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