Red weather warnings remain in place until midday in areas of Scotland on Friday (October 20) as Storm Babet threatens record rainfall, flooding and evacuations.

Residents in the vicinity of Brechin River and South Esk were ordered to leave their homes yesterday afternoon with local authorities setting up rest centres for those displaced by the storm.

Around 400 homes were evacuated in the Brechin area with the Met Office forecasting up to 250mm rainfall in the area. This would shatter the most recent record of 62.1mm in October 2020 and set a new record for rainfall in a single day in Scotland.

Meteorologists also recorded 77mph winds in Aberdeen, where the council opened rest centres at Stonehaven Community Centre and Mearns Campus at Laurencekirk in partnership with emergency services and community partners.

The Herald:

Waves crash at Stonehaven Harbour

People across the country are warned to stay away from coasts and shorelines while the red warning is in place, with the Met Office warning of ‘exceptional rainfall… severe flooding and disruption.’

This is the first time since Storm Dennis in February 2020 that the Met Office has moved to issue a red warning for rain in Scotland, with emergency measures largely covering the east and North East of the country. Residents have been warned of a ‘danger to life’ and to avoid travel with widespread disruption, road closures and extensive flooding of homes and businesses anticipated.

Met Office Chief Meteorologist Jason Kelly said: “Eastern parts of Scotland will see exceptional amounts of rainfall and the significant accumulations are likely to cause considerable impacts from Storm Babet.

“Numerous Amber and Yellow rainfall warnings are in place for rainfall over the coming days, up-to and including Saturday, but in the red-warning area 100-150mm of rain is expected to fall quite widely, over 200mm, which is expected to cause considerable impacts with flooding likely.”

Reinforcing the warning, Scotland’s Deputy First Minister Shona Robison said: “Red warnings are not often issued by the Met Office so it’s very important that people pay attention to those.

Read more: Brechin residents ordered to evacuate as red weather warning expanded for Storm Babet

"People should check in with Police Scotland or Transport Scotland to make sure they know whether their area is covered. People should absolutely not travel in those areas.

“The services are doing their best to act as quickly as they can,” she continued.

“Everybody is working very, very hard to make sure particularly those vulnerable people are supported to leave their homes.

“Those that are vulnerable will be put up in hotel accommodation.”

The Herald:

Workers battle the storm in Stonehaven

While services moved to evacuate locals in Brechin one John Stewart, 82, told reporters that he would wait out the storm, building a wall around his garden to protect his home from flood damage.

He said the wall had successfully stopped water from getting in from the street previously where flooding was severe.

He said: “I won’t be leaving because my wife won’t go.

“The trouble is, the last time there was flooding we couldn’t get sandbags and ended up paying £3 each for them.

“The council is supposed to give you that stuff and they don’t.”

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Asked if he believes the council has a duty to supply such items to Brechin residents, he said they should “look after” the people in the area.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) also announced eight flood warnings for Marykirk, West Luce Bay North, West Luce Bay South, Logie Mill and Craigo, Kinnaird/ Bridge of Dun, Inchbare, Finavon and Tannadice and Churchill Barriers. SEPA also issued 12 flood alerts covering regions ranging from Caithness and Sutherland in the north to Dumfries and Galloway in the Borders.

With heavy rain continuing throughout the night in the east and north east of the country, the forecast remained ‘very unsettled’, with heavy rain and strong winds forecast throughout the day on Friday.

Further heavy rain and winds are likely to continue on Saturday and Sunday, easing as the weekend progresses.

The Met Office and Scottish Government will carry further updates while weather warnings are in place with people urged to check forecasts and warnings before travelling.

“We are only at the start of this weather event," warned Deputy First Minister, Robison, "that’s really important for people to appreciate.

“There is the risk, danger, and possibility of more areas being affected so we will make sure that any changes are communicated as quickly as possible.”