Warning of unprecedented weather impacts
Deputy First Minister Shona Robison chaired a meeting of the Scottish Government’s Resilience Room (SGoRR) this evening after the highest level Red Weather Warning was issued for the North East of Scotland.
Attended by resilience partners, Transport Scotland, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and emergency services, the meeting set out the significant action being taken to protect the public and mitigate the severe disruption expected over the next few days.
This includes multi-agency resilience arrangements being stood up across the country to co-ordinate the on-the-ground response and support anyone affected by flooding and severe weather.
The Red Warning has been issued by the Met Office for parts of Angus and South Aberdeenshire, valid between Thursday evening (1800) and Friday afternoon (1200).
People are urged to not to travel and to stay at home in the affected areas with ‘exceptional’ levels of rain likely to result in significant disruption and danger to life.
There is a further Amber Warning for rain covering parts of Stirling, Perthshire, Aviemore, Moray, Angus, Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City from Thursday morning (0600) until Friday evening (1800). In these Amber areas it is being advised people should avoid travel unless absolutely necessary.
In addition, an Amber Warning for wind was issued this morning for eastern Angus and eastern Aberdeenshire, valid between 1000 and 1800 on Thursday.
Ms Robison said:
“Red Warnings are rarely issued by the Met Office and this reflects how serious the impacts will be from the exceptional weather we can expect - particularly in the North East of Scotland in the next two days.
"The strong message is that if you are in the parts of Angus and South Aberdeenshire affected – please stay at home and do not travel.
“Other parts of Scotland are also at risk of flooding as rivers respond and drainage systems become overwhelmed. The risk is exacerbated by the fact that many catchments are already saturated following last week’s heavy rainfall and flooding.
“No one should take the risks for granted and I would urge everyone in the country to prepare where necessary, heed the travel warnings issued by Police Scotland and take extreme care around fast-flowing water.
“Regional resilience partnerships have been activated and the Scottish Government is working very closely with them and with all partner agencies to ensure that all possible preparations are made and that everyone has full and immediate access to the most up-to-date information.
“I am grateful for the efforts of partners and volunteers in making preparations to help the public stay safe.
“Anyone seeking live updates should follow these partner organisations on social media, and can also consult the Ready Scotland website for general advice on how to prepare for, respond to, and recover from severe weather emergencies.”
Assistant Chief Constable Stuart Houston said: “Our advice is to avoid any form of travel in those areas covered by the red weather warning.
“Driving conditions are expected to be extremely dangerous with disruption and significant delays during this period.
“In those areas covered by amber warnings for rain and wind, we would urge drivers, particularly those of high-sided vehicles, to consider if their journeys are essential or if they could be delayed until conditions improve.
“Don’t ignore road closure signs – they are for your safety.”
Pascal Lardet, SEPA Flood Duty Manager, said:
“Scotland has already experienced a significant flood event this month, which communities are still recovering from, and some of the rainfall totals forecast for this week are higher than experienced over that weekend – albeit in some different areas.
“We’re expecting extensive river and surface water flooding in affected areas, with widespread impacts to transport and infrastructure. There is a risk of more significant community scale property flooding – and there will be danger to life.
“Regional Flood Alerts have already been issued, and localised Flood Warnings will be issued over the next few days as rivers respond. However, it is important to note that not all areas that could be affected have Flood Warning schemes, so please do take a Flood Alert in your area as advance notice that you could be affected.
“Take action now to protect yourself and your property. Hazards can be hidden, so please don’t walk or drive into flood water. Remember that not only is flood water likely to be dirty, 30 cm of fast flowing water can move an average family sized car, and just 15 cm of fast flowing water could be enough to knock you off your feet.”
Resilience Partners include: Regional Resilience Partnerships for the three regions of Scotland; the Met Office; Scottish Water; Scottish Gas Networks; SSEN; and Scottish Power Energy Networks.
Weather warnings for Storm Babet are in place for between Thursday 19 October and Friday 20 October.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) issues flood alerts and warnings for Scotland. View the latest updates on their website.
Advice on preparing for severe weather can be found on the Ready Scotland website.
There is a problem
Thanks for your feedback