Storm response plan agreed ahead of full impact of Storm Babet.
The Scottish Government’s Resilience Room (SGoRR) met this evening, as the highest level Red Weather Warning was expanded to further areas of Scotland.
With impacts from Storm Babet already being felt but expected to increase in severity in the coming day, resilience partners updated the actions already underway to protect public safety and mitigate the severe disruption that is anticipated.
The meeting was chaired by the Deputy First Minister with Cabinet attendance including the First Minister.
The Met Office Red Warning, which is valid between Thursday evening (1800) and Friday afternoon (1200), has been expanded to cover Angus, South Aberdeenshire, Perth and Kinross and Dundee.
People in these areas are urged not to travel and to stay at home, with ‘exceptional’ levels of rain likely to result in significant disruption and danger to life.
Amber warnings for rain and wind remain in place for many other parts of the country and people in these areas are advised to avoid travel unless absolutely necessary.
Localised power outages have been experienced in coastal areas of eastern Scotland and across the north of Scotland with ongoing impact expected in Aberdeenshire and Angus in line with the Amber Warning for wind. Most affected households have already been reconnected and operational resource levels remain good.
People are asked to plan ahead and expect significant disruption to transport. Road operating companies have been clearing roads. Rail and bus services have been suspended in affected areas. Passengers are asked to check with transport operators to get the latest information on services.
SEPA has issued local flood warnings and encouraged people to follow alerts.
In limited parts of Angus, evacuation plans are being drawn up to protect the public from extreme flood risks. In the exceptional circumstances in which these apply, members of the public will be contacted directly by resilience partners. A major incident has also been declared for Perth and Kinross, Dundee City and Angus local authority areas.
Tourism partners have also been alerted to ensure that visitors to Scotland are provided with travel and safety guidance.
Deputy First Minister Shona Robison said:
“Storm Babet is still in its early stages and the worst impacts are yet to come. Protecting the public is our immediate priority and we are coordinating a national effort to ensure that people are safe.
“The Red Warning has been expanded to cover further parts of Scotland and we expect weather conditions to deteriorate seriously overnight. Our message is clear - if you live in the areas covered by the Red Warning, please stay at home and do not travel, unless advised to relocate to a rest centre.
“With weather warnings in place for much of the country, I would urge everyone to be vigilant and to exercise extreme caution. No matter where you live, please make sure you stay up to date with conditions affecting your area. If you need to travel in a yellow warning area then make sure you can travel safely and that roads and services are not impacted.
“We are working with partners across the country, including emergency services, the voluntary sector and energy companies, to make sure that we mitigate disruption as much as possible. However, we are clear that there will be considerable disruption and we expect to launch a major clean-up operation as we move into the weekend.”
Assistant Chief Constable Stuart Houston said: “Emergency services, local authorities and a range of resilience partnerships are working extremely hard to prepare and respond during what is an extremely challenging event.
“Police officers are helping local authorities evacuate a large number of properties in the Tayside area which is seeing some of the most significant impacts of the storm.
“I would urge people to continue to follow advice and listen to media broadcast, including radio, for updates.
“Follow your local authority for the latest updates in your area as well as police, the Met Office website and Traffic Scotland. I’d encourage everyone to share this information with people who don’t have access to the internet.
“Police travel advice is to avoid any form of travel in areas covered by the red weather warning.
“Driving conditions are extremely dangerous and floodwater could cause a danger to life. Plan ahead and don’t travel into areas affected by the Red weather warning.”
Pascal Lardet, SEPA Flood Duty Manager, said:
“There is exceptional rainfall forecast for parts of Scotland over the next 24 hours, and this will lead to significant flooding from both surface water and rivers.
“Regional Flood Alerts were issued over the last two days to provide early awareness, and localised Flood Warnings started to be issued this morning. More will be issued across the day, so I do encourage people to check our Flood Updates for all the latest information. You can also follow @SEPAFlood on X. However, it is important to stress 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.
“Follow the advice of the emergency services and 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.
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.
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