From Aberdeenshire Council
The Met Office has issued a Red Warning for Rain from 6pm Thursday, 19th October 2023 to 12noon Friday, 20th October 2023 indicating a high likelihood of high impacts for South Aberdeenshire – 200-250mm of rain anticipated.
This is the highest level of warning the Met Office can issue and are only issued for the most serious and impactful weather events – this is an exceptional weather event.
In addition it has also upgraded to an Amber Wind and Rain Warning for Grampian from 10am to 6pm tomorrow reflecting a medium likelihood of medium impacts.
Please note that a Yellow Wind Warning for strong wind and powerful gusts up to 70mph still remains in place for the whole region from 6am tomorrow until 6am on Saturday.
Exceptional rainfall is expected to cause severe flooding and disruption:
- Danger to life from fast flowing or deep floodwater
- Extensive flooding to homes and businesses
- Collapsed or damaged buildings or structures
- Road closures and bus and train service delays and cancellations
- Dangerous driving conditions because of spray and flooded roads
- Loss of power and other essential services, such as gas, water and mobile phone service
- Communities completely cut off, perhaps for several days
There is real potential for heavy and prolonged rainfall – exacerbated by strong south-easterly winds – to affect large parts of Aberdeenshire including the threat of localised flooding through both coastal and river impacts – and communities must start to take precautionary action.
Households and businesses should be taking immediate steps to make arrangements for their own sandbags and flood door protection to safeguard their own property from flooding.
In preparation, we have very limited supplies of sandbags at our Roads Depots should residents of Aberdeenshire only require them in an emergency – a maximum of 20 each will be available while stocks allow. Find out where you can pick up sandbags.
If you live in a known flooding area, please ensure you If you live in a known flooding area, please ensure you sign up for alerts from SEPA, call the Floodline on 0345 9881188 or visit SEPA flood updates.
Our advice is to avoid all but essential travel across Aberdeenshire during Thursday and Friday.
The severity of the winds is likely to have a significant impact on woodland, particularly in areas weakened by previous storms. While Roads and Landscape teams will respond to calls about fallen trees, if it is too dangerous – particularly during hours of darkness – we will close roads until it is safe to remove them.
Please remember, fallen, overhanging and hung-up trees represent a serious danger to safety and affected areas should be avoided at all times.
Roads crews have again been undertaking gully-clearing in known flood-risk areas today but as we move into the storm, we will have to limit activity only to the most urgent areas.
River levels will rise considerably over the coming days and we will be closing the A92 Lower North Water Bridge and C36 Bridge of Feugh (both road bridge and footbridges) at 9.30am on Thursday on grounds of public safety following the extreme rainfall on North Esk Catchment and Catchment of Feugh.
We may have to close other bridges to all traffic and road users as a safety precaution. Our rivers will very quickly become treacherous in light of the heavy rainfall and we cannot stress enough that you should not visit any bridge to view floodwaters as these areas will be very dangerous for several days.
HM Coastguard is also advising people to steer clear of floodwaters and cliff edges throughout the storm.
We have also deployed the Stonehaven Flood Protection Scheme in advance.
In the very likely event that we have to shut roads and bridges we will be updating our online maps:
Health and Social Care
Our home care and nursing teams across Aberdeenshire are already preparing for Storm Babet. As the storm progresses there may be impacts on roads which may make it harder for our teams to get to people so, if you can please check in on vulnerable neighbours, friends and family where it is safe to do so.
If you currently have medical equipment at home that you rely on, please make sure that you charge any spare batteries you may have in preparedness.
Council service points
We will be closing service points on Thursday and Friday and moving staff to answer customer queries by phone. If you require assistance, please call 03456 081210 – open 8am to 8pm Thursday, Friday, Saturday.
Live Life Aberdeenshire and Early Years
All leisure centres and libraries together with our Early Years facilities in South Aberdeenshire will be closed on Thursday and Friday to ensure the safety of our users and staff.
All A2B bus services operated by the council will be withdrawn on Thursday and Friday.
Community resilience groups across Aberdeenshire are ready to spring into action and are already preparing resources/rest centres should they be required.
Stonehaven and Laurencekirk household recycling centres will be closed on Friday. There is also likely be disruption to bin collections due to the weather and driving conditions.
We will also react to the local conditions across Aberdeenshire for bin collections and household recycling centres as they present themselves during the storm.
To get all the latest council updates including impacted waste collection services or facility closures, download the myAberdeenshire app.
We are likely to experience high levels of emergency calls due to damage caused by the storm. Housing repairs and our sub-contractors will only be able to carry out work and repairs if it is safe for them to do so. This includes travelling, in what are likely to be very difficult conditions.
During the periods of red weather warnings, no repairs will be possible in those affected areas.
During the amber weather warnings our Housing Repairs teams will be responding to emergency repairs only. Local conditions may mean that even this response level will not be possible straight away. When we are able to safely travel to tenants, we will do what we can to deal with your emergency. If this is storm damage, we will try to make your home wind and watertight. This may mean having to come back on a later date to do final permanent repairs.
Any non-essential repairs that are already booked for 19th and 20th October will be rescheduled – you don’t need to do anything and we will contact you to rearrange.