Storm Babet Brings Damage and Disruption to England


England (Parliament Politic Magazine) – England grapples with inundated homes, shuttered schools, and submerged motorways and railway lines as Storm Babet continues its onslaught. An amber warning for continuous heavy rainfall remains in effect until 06:00 on Saturday.

The Met Office has forecasted rainfall amounts of up to 60mm, with the possibility of reaching 120mm in elevated areas. Residents have been cautioned about the perilous conditions posed by swiftly flowing or deep floodwaters, which could jeopardize lives.

Storm Causes Various Disruptions 

The storm’s impact reverberates across the nation, resulting in various disruptions, including:

  • Railway lines through Swindon and multiple routes in northern England, the Midlands, and North Wales have been blocked by flooding, leading to the closure of Rotherham Central Station.
  • Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service has been inundated with over 200 calls in just two hours, with many involving flooded cellars and vehicles stranded in water.
  • A lighthouse in South Shields has lost its dome to the relentless waves and powerful winds.
  • Sections of the M606 in West Yorkshire have been temporarily closed due to floodwater, and while the M54 was initially shut at J6-J7, it has since reopened.
  • School closures have been enforced in the West Midlands, Wiltshire, and Gloucestershire, largely due to flooding on nearby roads.
  • Homes in Suffolk have been inundated by flooding, with Dorset and Wiltshire firefighters responding to five flooded properties and conducting five vehicle rescues.

Residents Apprehensive About Losses Of Land and Properties 

Flooding has affected regions in the eastern part of England, particularly in Hemsby, Norfolk, where residents anxiously monitored the high tide.

The village has been grappling with relentless coastal erosion, and residents are apprehensive about the potential loss of land and properties. However, there have been reports suggesting that the village managed to escape the worst of the high tide at 11:21.

Andrew Turner, a reporter from BBC Radio Norfolk on the scene, noted that while the sea remained turbulent, it had retreated after the high tide.

“I observed chunks of sand and marram grass falling from the cliff and washing onto the beach and into the water,” he stated. “Erosion has occurred, but I haven’t received any reports of property being impacted.’’

No Operational Trains In Different Parts Of The UK

Train services connecting Bristol to London face cancellations and delays as a result of flooding in Swindon. Additionally, there are no operational trains between the following routes: Derby and Sheffield or Nottingham, Walsall and Rugeley Trent Valley, and Shrewsbury and Hereford or Wolverhampton.

Suspensions have been implemented for services running between Hereford and Birmingham New Street, Chester and Crewe, and Wrexham Central and Bidston.

Transport disruptions have also struck parts of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Rotherham Central Station has been closed, and numerous railway lines have been obstructed by floodwater. The northbound exit slip road at junction three in Bradford on the M606 has been closed, according to National Highways. Furthermore, tram services in Sheffield have been redirected.

Storm Babet has left a trail of destruction nationwide, exemplified by the dramatic incident in Torquay, Devon, where a beach bar was swept into the sea.

On Thursday, a harrowing situation unfolded near Carlisle as emergency responders had to rescue a woman and a four-year-old girl trapped in a car stranded in floodwaters.

Adding to the concerns, an amber warning for rain has combined with a yellow warning for wind, encompassing the East Midlands, East, north-east England, and Yorkshire and the Humber. This alert commenced at midday and will persist until 12:00 on Saturday.

Read More: British Teen in Legal Battle with NHS While Being Critically Ill In the UK

Man Rescued After Vehicle Swept into River in Northfield, Birmingham

A dramatic incident unfolded as a car was carried 30 meters downstream in a fast-flowing river in Northfield, Birmingham. The driver, a man estimated to be in his 40s, had attempted to navigate a ford in The Mill Walk around 08:30 BST, according to the West Midlands Fire Service.

Regrettably, his vehicle was swiftly swept away by the powerful current of the River Rea, ultimately becoming trapped and compelling the man to seek refuge on the car’s roof. With courage and resourcefulness, he utilized a tree branch to reach the embankment and was later rescued by fire crews after an hour of ordeal.

The West Midlands Fire Service emphasized the gravity of the situation, deeming the man’s survival a “lucky escape” and reiterating the crucial advice: “Do not drive into floodwater, as it jeopardizes your safety and the lives of our responding firefighters.”

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.