More than ninety flood warnings broke out across the UK as the Met Office warned the public of Storm Babet. Yellow warnings flowed through York to Nottinghamshire, while Scotland was bombarded with red, including Brechin, Forfar, and Kirriemuir (BBC News, 2023).
Strong winds blew a mass amount of sea foam across a town in Sunderland as seen in the image below (BBC News, 2023).
While trains had to be canceled and delayed due to the flooding and safety concerns on the road, the severe weather also meant that replacement buses were scarce for most cross-country journeys. The LNER declared there would be no trains at all for a few days during Storm Babet going to and from Aberdeen and Edinburgh (Daily Mail, 2023).
Places, such as Retford, were evacuated, with more than 500 homes being vacated as flood warnings became more certain since the town rests by River Idle (BBC News, 2023). It was issued that anyone living in coastal areas, or by rivers, should be prepared for flooding.
According to the Environment Agency of the UK Government, over 2,146 properties were damaged in the floods caused by the storm (Gov.uk, 2023).
Not only that, there were reported winds of around 70mph in eastern parts of England and Scotland; and an Amber warning was issued (Met Office, 2023).
Yet now, the aftermath of one of the strongest storms the UK has seen in a while necessitates reconstruction and support for those who have lost their homes or suffered damage due to the flooding. One woman reportedly had already refurbished her house for over £40,000 before the storm hit her (BBC News, 2023). Recently, the government announced plans to support Storm Babet victims. People who were affected by the flooding may be eligible for up to £500, while other places, such as South Yorkshire, have called for appeals and online charitable donations to help towns suffering (The Standard, 2023).
Michael Gove, Communities Secretary, stated: “I will continue to work closely with our partners across Government and councils to make sure we are doing all we can to support businesses and families who have had to face such challenging and upsetting circumstances” (The Standard, 2023). This has not been met with much positivity, as many victims are now homeless, and the monetary compensation is not enough to cover the damages.
From Hucknall in Nottinghamshire, Vicky Hallam, whose home was badly affected by Storm Babet, stated: “If it was in the summer it would be different, but people are going to have the heating on to dry their (homes) out. [...] The heating has gone up stupid prices – I really don’t know what to say.” (The Standard, 2023).
Is there more that could be done to help recover the UK in the aftermath of Storm Babet?
Edited by: Anwen Venn
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