STORM Babet has claimed its second victim after a van was hit by a falling tree while a desperate search is still underway for a man trapped in the floods.
The killer storm continues to wreak havoc in Scotland with cops confirming the man died after a tree struck his vehicle in Angus.
Cops have confirmed the 56-year-old driver was pronounced dead at the scene.
The man’s next of kin have been informed.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Around 5.05pm on Thursday, 19 October, 2023, police received a report of a one-vehicle crash in which a tree struck a van on the B9127 at Whigstreet near Forfar.
“Emergency services attended, however, the 56-year-old driver was pronounced dead at the scene.
“Next of kin have been informed and a report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal.
“The road remains closed.”
Yesterday, cops confirmed the body of a woman, 57, had been recovered from a river in Angus – where a red weather alert is in place.
The woman tragically died after heavy rains and winds swept her away as the storm raged on.
Earlier today, an urgent helicopter search was launched after a man became trapped in his car in floodwater near the Aberdeenshire village of Marykirk.
Reports say the man in his vehicle was swept into the River North Esk with authorities scouring the area.
Brits were earlier warned that the “worst impacts are yet to come” as officials urged people to take care amid the torrential downpours.
The Met Office has issued a slew of weather warnings, including alerts about potentially life threatening amounts of rain and high winds that could cause power outages.
Today, forecasters sent out another rare red weather warning for part of eastern Scotland, indicating a danger to life, due to further torrential rainfall expected on Saturday.
The warning – for “exceptionally heavy and persistent rain” – is in place from midnight on Saturday to 11:59pm on the same day.
40ft-high waves even destroyed a historic lighthouse in South Shields as the storm continues to batter Britain.
Massive waves were seen crashing against the coast in other areas while howling gusts sweeping in from the Atlantic pose a danger to life.
The woman’s tragic death came as the town of Brechin, in Aberdeenshire was ordered to evacuate as the wild weather wreaked havoc.
More than 350 properties were told they had 24 hours to get out amid “exceptional” rainfall which has seen streets submerged.
Rescue teams have been knocking on doors and urging people to evacuate since yesterday afternoon, as the Met Office issued a “risk to life” red weather warning.
Areas close to the river have been overwhelmed by water which breached the flood defences in the early hours of this morning.
It has left those who did not evacuate trapped in their houses with members of the Coastguard rescue team deployed to help.
Footage showed them wading through perilously high water and manning lifeboats on submerged residential streets.
Councillor Jill Scott, who lives in Brechin, says the floods are “horrific” with people trapped and hundreds of homes flooded.
She said that one family contacted her at around 5am after having to leave their ground floor flat in Nursery Park when it flooded.
They are trapped in the hallway upstairs and are huddling together for warmth, she said.
Urging people to stay at home and avoid travel, Deputy First Minister Shona Robison said: “Storm Babet is still in its early stages and the worst impacts are yet to come.”
Footage filmed in Brechin appears to show the river has spilled over defences overnight and is now causing major flooding with a street totally submerged.
The council said a further 87 homes in Tannadice and Finavon would be asked to evacuate due to risk of severe flooding.
The rare red alert in Scotland for wind and rain covers an area from southern Aberdeenshire and Angus to the outskirts of Dundee and Perth.
Some locations are likely to see between 20-25cm (8 to 10 inches) of rainfall, says the Met Office.
Have you been affected by Storm Babet? Email [email protected] or call 020 7782 4100
The storm has also caused transport disruption with major roads closed and passengers hit by flight cancellations.
Nine departures and seven arrivals have already been axed at Aberdeen airport today.
Footage showed a train line at Hooton Station on Wirral deep under water with services suspended.
And rail operators are warning of disruption to travel in Birmingham and Derby.
Extensive flooding, loss of power and collapsing buildings should all be expected by communities in the area, warns the Met Office.
Meanwhile, dozens of people living on the North Norfolk coast are ready to leave if the powerful storm and accompanying giant waves bring the cliffs that protect their homes crashing down.
Almost 20 properties in the Norfolk village of Hemsby are said to be at immediate risk and are being advised to leave.
And the wet weather shows no sign of abating with downpours set to move south on Friday and into the weekend.
Ms Robison said: “Protecting the public is our immediate priority and we are co-ordinating a national effort to ensure that people are safe.
“The red warning has been expanded to cover further parts of Scotland and we expect weather conditions to deteriorate seriously overnight.
“Our message is clear – if you live in the areas covered by the red warning, please stay at home and do not travel, unless advised to relocate to a rest centre.”
Meanwhile, a yellow weather warning for rain came into effect across southeastern parts of England at 10pm yesterday as heavy showers began spreading down south.
In Ireland, the army was deployed after Cork County Council said more than a month’s worth of rain fell in 24 hours, leading to unprecedented flooding.