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How to keep safe during flooding as Storm Babet prompts red SEPA rain alert in north east

By Lewis McBlane

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NEW tips have been released to help the north east stay safe during Storm Babet.

SEPA's flood update website shows the current flood warnings.
SEPA's flood update website shows the current flood warnings.

Moray is currently facing yellow flood, wind and rain warnings from 6pm tomorrow (October 19) to Noon on Friday (October 20), but other areas of the north east saw red alerts for rain issued – the most serious warning available.

Amber wind and rain alerts were also put in place for large swathes of the country.

As a result, Moray could see: difficult road conditions and closures; delays to public transport; and a "small chance" of flooding to homes, power cuts and floodwater.

However, the areas facing a red alert (South Abereenshire and Angus) could see danger to life from fast flowing floodwater; extensive flooding to homes or structures; loss of power, gas, water and mobile services; and communities completely cut off, perhaps for several days.

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), which has responsibility for flood warning and management, shared key advice for managing flood conditions.

According to the agency, heavy rain will bring surface and river flooding, with some areas forecast to receive well in excess of the monthly October average rainfall within a 36-48 hour period.

The main concern currently is around parts of eastern and central Scotland, which could see "exceptionally wet conditions".

The storm may impact some of the communities still recovering from flooding experienced over the weekend of October 6 and 7.

SEPA's top tips

  • Check the latest advice on what to do to prepare for flooding at www.floodlinescotland.org.uk
  • Don’t walk through flood water – 15cm of fast flowing water could be enough to knock you off your feet and hazards can be hidden under the water.
  • Drive with care, and do not travel through deep fast flowing water. It only takes 30cm of fast flowing water to move an average family sized car.
  • If you’re walking beside rivers be extra careful of wet footpaths and small watercourses.
  • Consider deploying flooding protection products if required.


SEPA also encouraged locals to sign up for their Floodline message service, by calling 0345 988 1188 or visiting the Floodline website.

Flood alerts can be found here, and the agency said information on preparing your home and business is available, along with advice from people who have dealt with flooding.

"Extremely high rainfall totals" - SEPA flood manager

Addressing the current situation, David Morgan, SEPA’s Duty Flood Manager, said: “The forecast for the end of this week is showing extremely high rainfall totals, and people should be thinking now about the action they can take to protect themselves and their property.

"If you haven’t already signed up for Floodline, I would strongly advise you to do so.

"The service is free and can give you advance notice of flooding in your area.

“Scotland experienced a significant rainfall event that caused extensive flooding in local communities only a few days ago, and with catchments still saturated we’re urging people to be prepared for flooding.

"We are looking at some forecast totals that are even higher over the next few days, so please do use this time to plan and prepare.

“Further regional Flood Alerts and localised Flood Warnings will be issued as required over the coming days.

"We continue to work with the Met Office to monitor the situation 24/7. People can check our Flood Updates for all the latest information and the three-day Scottish Flood Forecast to see what conditions are expected further ahead.”

SEPA said flood warnings are issued based on Met Office information alongside the organisation's own rainfall observations and river levels.

Regional Flood Alerts are early advice that flooding is possible across a wider geographical area.

The purpose of the Alerts is to make people aware of the risk of flooding and be prepared.

They are normally issued 12 to 24 hours before the likely flooding.

Flood Warnings are more locally specific and are issued for areas where the environment agency has gauges on rivers to measure exact river height.

They are issued at shorter notice when SEPA are more certain a specific area will be affected.

The current north and north east Storm Babet weather warnings

SEPA flood alerts:


  • Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City


  • Caithness and Sutherland
  • Easter Ross and Great Glen
  • Tayside


  • Findhorn Nairn Moray and Speyside

MET Office weather warnings

Red – Rain

  • South Aberdeenshire

Amber – Rain

  • Central Aberdeenshire
  • Aberdeen City
  • South Aberdeenshire
  • Deeside
  • Easter Ross and Great Glens
  • Caithness and Sutherland

Amber – Wind

  • North east Aberdeenshire
  • Aberdeen City
  • South Aberdeenshire
  • Angus

Yellow – Rain

  • North west Aberdeenshire
  • Caithness and Sutherland
  • Easter Ross and Great Glens
  • Findhorn Nairn Moray and Speyside
  • Orkney
  • Shetland

Yellow – Wind

  • North west Aberdeenshire
  • Caithness and Sutherland
  • Easter Ross and Great Glens
  • Wester Ross
  • Findhorn Nairn Moray and Speyside
  • Orkney
  • Shetland

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