Storm Babet death toll rises to three - urgent warning over extreme conditions

Storm Babet strikes Stonehaven

Storm Babet claims its first victim as body of woman dragged from river

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Oliver Trapnell

By Oliver Trapnell

Published: 19/10/2023

- 20:29

Updated: 20/10/2023

- 18:00

Police said the woman’s body was recovered around 4pm today

Storm Babet has claimed a third victim as Britain continues to be battered.

A man in his 60s has died after being caught in fast-flowing flood water in the town of Cleobury Mortimer in Shropshire.

West Mercia Police said the victim was found dead at 12.35pm today.

The force released the following statement: "Members of the public reported that the man had gone under the water shortly before 10.40am this morning.

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"Officers from West Mercia Police and Shropshire Fire and Rescue quickly attended but sadly he was found deceased at around 12.35pm.

"Whilst formal identification hasn’t yet taken place the family of a local man in his 60s have been informed and are being supported by officers."

News of the third victim comes after a man is thought to have died after his van was hit by a falling tree.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Around 5.05pm on Thursday, 19 October, 2023, police received a report of a one-vehicle crash in which a tree struck a van on the B9127 at Whigstreet near Forfar.

“Emergency services attended, however, the 56-year-old driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

“Next of kin have been informed and a report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal. The road remains closed.”

Yesterday, it was confirmed that the body of a 57-year-old woman, who is yet to be identified, was recovered from a river in Angus.


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Angus is among a number of areas in Scotland where a Met Office red warning is in effect.

Police said they recovered the body in the mid-afternoon after being called to reports of a woman being swept up by the storm.

“Around 1.45pm on Thursday October 19, officers attended a report of a person having been swept into the Water of Lee, Glen Esk,” a spokesperson for Police Scotland said.

“Around 4pm, the body of a 57-year-old woman was recovered from the river.

“There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.”

The Met Office issued a rare red warning due to the impending severity of Storm Babet.

Warnings will be in place from 6pm on Thursday through to midday on Friday.

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

Man clears drainage ditch ahead of Storm BabetMan clears drainage ditch ahead of Storm BabetPA

“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, with some locations possibly seeing 200-220mm, which is expected to cause considerable impacts with flooding likely.”

The death comes after residents in Brechin were urged to evacuate the town due to torrential flooding.

Reports suggest emergency rest centres are being set up as the storm rages on in north east Scotland.

Earlier today Angus Council announced that schools and early years centres will close at lunchtime and will remain closed on Friday.

“Storm Babet will bring heavy rain and high winds across Scotland from Wednesday evening,” David Morgan, Flood Duty Manager for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), said.

“Starting in the southwest before moving across to the northeast through Thursday and into the weekend.

“Impacts from surface water and rivers are likely, and with catchments saturated from recent heavy rain and flooding, we’re urging people to be prepared for potential flooding.”

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