The United Kingdom was hit by storm Babet, which killed three people in Scotland and England and caused significant flooding, before heading towards Scandinavia on Friday. Heavy rainfall and strong winds have hit a large area from Ireland to the north of the UK since Wednesday and a red alert remains in force until Saturday in north-east Scotland where “exceptional rainfall” are still planned.

In this particularly affected region, the body of a 57-year-old woman was found in a river in the coastal region of Angus, between Edinburgh and Aberdeen, and a 56-year-old man was killed by a falling tree on his vehicle, police said. A man in his 60s was also found dead on Friday morning after being caught in water from a stream which overflowed onto a road in Cleobury Mortimer in Shropshire, central England.

Leeds-Bradford Airport, located in the north of England, announced that it would close its doors in a message posted on X (formerly Twitter). Earlier in the afternoon, a passenger plane arriving from Corfu, Greece, went off the runway while attempting to land. There were no injuries, according to a spokesperson.

Many schools remained closed on Friday, roads and several railway lines were cut, and more than 20,000 homes suffered power cuts, the vast majority of which have now been restored. Six professional football matches scheduled for Saturday October 21 have also been canceled in Scotland.

In Ireland, the first country to be hit by Babet on Wednesday, hundreds of buildings were flooded in Cork (South), where municipal officials described unprecedented flooding for at least thirty years.

Heavy flooding expected

The British Weather Service (Met Office) has issued an orange and yellow alert for several areas of northern and central England and for northern Wales, where flooding is already being reported by local authorities. The Met Office has warned that some localities could find themselves isolated for several days due to heavy flooding.

“This is not your usual fall weather. This is an exceptional event and we are likely to continue to see significant impacts, with possible further flooding and property damage,” warned Andy Page of the Met Office.

The storm is now heading towards Denmark and Sweden where weather services are expecting heavy flooding. “The wind has already started to gain strength and [this] is expected to peak (…) especially during the night,” Ida Dahlström of the Swedish Meteorology and Hydrology Institute (SMHI) told AFP. The SMHI and the Danish weather agency, DMI, have both issued warnings for heavy rain, floods, strong winds and gusts.

Seventy-seven flights to and from Copenhagen airport in Denmark have been canceled, the DMI wrote on X (formerly Twitter). Several ferry operators have suspended their services to or from Denmark and Sweden as a precaution.