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Act now to ensure you are prepared for flooding before Storm Babet arrives

Date published: 17 October 2023


The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) have started issuing Flood Alerts ahead of expected flooding from Thursday, caused by Storm Babet.

Those living, working and staying in Scotland are being warned that the 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. Other parts of southern and central Scotland are also likely to see significant amounts of rain. The storm may impact some of the communities still recovering from flooding experienced over the weekend of 6th and 7th October.

It’s important to keep up to date with the weather information from the Met Office and flooding advice from SEPA, as areas may change as the forecast becomes clearer. 

People are advised to:

Further flood alerts will be issued tomorrow morning (Wednesday) and in the run up to the event as required.

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. 

As Scotland’s flood warning and informing authority, SEPA continues to work closely with partners and responder agencies to share the latest information. An early alert of potential impacts was provided on Sunday through SEPA’s Flood Guidance Statement and information sharing will continue throughout the event.

Stay informed

Be prepared and stay safe 

  • Check the latest advice on what to do to prepare for flooding.
  • 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. 

What’s the difference between a flood alert and a flood warning? 

  • We use forecast weather information provided by the Met Office combined with our own observation of rainfall and river levels and advanced hydrological modelling to provide advance warning of flooding. 
  • 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. We normally issue them 12 to 24 hours in advance of the possibility of flooding. 
  • Flood Warnings are more locally specific and are issued for areas where we have gauges on rivers to measure the exact river height. They are issued at shorter notice when we are more certain that a specific area will be affected.