Storm Babet triggers flooding, power cuts in northern Europe

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Storm Babet triggers flooding, power cuts in northern Europe

Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - A photograph shows a flooded street in Soenderborg, Southern Jutland on October 21, 2023, after a storm hit the area. — AFP pic

STOCKHOLM, Oct 21 — Deadly Storm Babet unleashed extensive flooding and damaged towns in Denmark and Norway late Friday and early today, while continuing to sweep across the UK.

Three people died in Scotland and England and families were trapped in flooded homes on Friday as the storm battered Britain and Ireland.

After it made landfall in Scandinavia, the storm triggered a sharp rise in water levels in towns in southern Denmark, flooding the first floor of homes which were left without power for several hours.

Water levels in several Danish towns exceeded their normal height by more than two metres (seven feet), levels normally only reached once every hundred years, according to Denmark”s DMI weather service.

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“We are having to clear large quantities of water from the towns, especially in southern Jutland,” Martin Vendelbo of the Danish Emergency Management Agency told the Ritzau news agency.

Fishing boats were left stranded or about to sink in the port town of Rodvig, according to photos from Danish media.

In southern Norway, up to 20,000 residents were without power early Saturday after strong winds blew roofs off buildings and downed trees and power masts, but the Norwegian news agency NTB said the situation was improving.

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A sailor secures a boat as waves crash against the coast at Hesnaes harbor near Horbelev in Denmark on October 20, 2023, after a weather warning was issued for the area. — AFP pic

A sailor secures a boat as waves crash against the coast at Hesnaes harbor near Horbelev in Denmark on October 20, 2023, after a weather warning was issued for the area. — AFP pic

‘Danger to Life’

The storm continued to wreak havoc in the UK, with London’s King’s Cross station forced to close this afternoon to prevent passengers massing on platforms after the cancellation or delay of numerous trains.

Network Rail said on X, formerly Twitter, that London North Eastern Railway (LNER), which runs services between London and the north-east of England and Scotland, was still severely disrupted due to the storm.

Leeds Bradford airport in northern England, which was closed yesterday after a passenger plane skidded off the runway in strong winds, reopened late this morning.

The UK’s Environment Agency has issued three severe flood warnings posing “a danger to life” in the area around the River Derwent in the city of Derby, central England.

Flood duty manager at the Environment Agency, Katharine Smith, said “ongoing flooding is probable on some larger rivers including the Severn, Ouse and Trent through to Tuesday.”

Interviewed on BBC One on Saturday morning, Labour MP Toby Perkins said that around 400 homes in his constituency of Chesterfield in central England had been flooded, and that many people now had “no idea where they’re going to be living from now”.

Scotland was left reeling after two people died in the county of Angus, with First Minister Humza Yousaf warning on X for people to exercise caution in light of a red severe weather warning in the coastal county and parts of Aberdeenshire.

The chief executive of Aberdeenshire Council Jim Savege, however, adopted a reassuring tone on BBC Breakfast, saying “it’s been quite quiet overnight in terms of a low level of incidents to respond to”.

Almost all the 33,000 homes left without power in Scotland had been reconnected by this morning, according to the Scottish and Southern Electricity Network (SSEN). — AFP

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