Clean-up begins after Storm Babet batters UK

Debris removal and damage assessment under way in the wake of the storm which has rendered many bridges and roadways impassable

Powered by automated translation

An extensive clean-up operation is under way in flood-hit areas of the UK, after Storm Babet brought damage and disruption.

The storm hit Angus and Aberdeenshire in Scotland hard, and teams are already clearing debris from roads and making assessments of the damage to bridges, some of which were swept away by flood waters.

The red and yellow weather warnings covering Dundee and the north-east of Scotland have expired.

Flood warnings

There are flood warnings on the River Derwent in Derby which are to be updated by 5pm BST in the UK.

In Wales, a severe flood warning was issued for the village of Llandrinio in Powys, as well as isolated parts of the Severn-Vyrnwy confluence area.

The Environment Agency issued a warning to any drivers tempted to drive through flood water, pointing out that just "one egg cup" of water can "wreck" an engine.

"Environment Agency teams are out on the ground and have operated flood barriers and storage areas," said Katharine Smith, flood duty manager at the Environment Agency.

"Temporary defences, including pumps and barriers, have been deployed to minimise the impact of flooding where needed. Flood gates have also been closed in affected areas.

"We also advise people to stay away from swollen rivers and urge people not to drive through flood water as just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car," she added.


Several streets in the town of Brechin in Angus were flooded when the River South Esk burst its banks, with hundreds of people having to be evacuated from their homes.

Resident Charlie Warden said the flooding has been "devastating" for the town.

Storm Babet caused three deaths since beginning its sweep across the UK last Thursday, while a search continues in Aberdeenshire following a report of a man trapped in a vehicle in floodwater.

Rail services have been severely disrupted in Yorkshire, Scotland, East Anglia and the East Midlands on Sunday.

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.

Impact to be felt for 'some time to come'

The Energy Network Association said a “small handful” of homes will still be without power on Sunday after around 100,000 customers were affected by power cuts.

For the Environment Agency and local authorities, the clean-up process will take several days and repairing damaged infrastructure will take much longer.

"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," said Scottish Justice Secretary Angela Constance.

"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."

South Shields lighthouse before and after the top was ripped off during Storm Babet

Updated: October 23, 2023, 12:27 PM