Two Die as Storm Babet Hammers Scotland and Scandinavia

Two people died in the UK as severe flooding and heavy rain from Storm Babet hammer coastlines of the North Sea.

(Bloomberg) — Two people died in the UK as severe flooding and heavy rain from Storm Babet hammer coastlines of the North Sea.

Parts of eastern Scotland are bracing for another red warning from midnight on Saturday as exceptional rainfall results in severe flooding, building damages and dangerous driving conditions. Deaths were reported by Scotland’s police force, according to the BBC. 

The UK’s Met Office warned local communities that they could lose power and other essential services like gas, water and mobile phone services, “perhaps for several days.”

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service boat was going house to house searching by torchlight in heavily flooded streets of the Angus area early on Friday morning, according to the BBC. The local council has asked residents of about 400 homes in and around the town to evacuate amid fears the River South Esk could burst its banks, the news report added.

Rainfall of up to 250 millimeters (9.8 inches) was expected in the area, which was under a red warning on Friday morning, near the cities of Perth and Dundee. A number of amber and yellow weather warnings will remain in place across Scotland and parts of England until the weekend. 

Read More: Denmark Cancels Flights, May Cut Power Due to Extreme Weather

The UK has felt extremes of weather this year, with some of the hottest summer months on record followed by sudden, extreme rainfall and flooding. Human-caused climate change is increasing the likelihood of such weather patterns across the world.

The bad weather has been felt on North Sea shores elsewhere. Airlines have called off dozens of planned departures and arrivals at Copenhagen Airport on Friday, as well as facing delays, according to a spokesperson.

EON SE, one of the largest grid operators in Sweden, warned that the storm is likely to cause havoc in Scandinavia as it sweeps in late on Friday and early Saturday.

Wind gusts there will reach 20-25 meters per second, while water levels along the southern and western coast could reach record levels, according to national forecaster SMHI.

The utility has boosted staffing in the field and is preparing water pumps and other machines. The strong easterly winds are increasing the risk of trees falling on the overground power cables, EON said on Friday.

The UK’s wind turbines were generating more than 50% of the country’s power as of Friday morning, according to data from National Grid Plc on Bloomberg. Wind usually makes up 25% of the country’s power mix.

–With assistance from Christian Wienberg and Sanne Wass.

(Updates with fatalities from first paragraph, Copenhagen flights in seventh paragraph.)

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