Two fatalities and one missing person reported amid severe weather conditions
Storm Gerrit, the third storm to hit the UK this month, has claimed the lives of two people and left one person missing in Scotland. The storm brought heavy rain, strong winds, and snow to parts of the country, causing widespread flooding, power cuts, and travel disruption.
A 45-year-old man died after his car was swept away by floodwater near Marykirk in Aberdeenshire on Tuesday night. His body was recovered on Wednesday morning after an extensive search involving police, fire, and coastguard teams. A 52-year-old woman also died after being hit by a falling tree in Dundee on Wednesday afternoon. She was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
Meanwhile, a major search is underway for a 37-year-old man who went missing after his boat capsized in Loch Ness on Wednesday evening. He was one of four people on board the vessel, which overturned near Dores. The other three people were rescued by a passing boat and taken to hospital with hypothermia.
Hundreds of homes evacuated and thousands without power
The storm also forced hundreds of residents to evacuate their homes due to the risk of flooding. In Brechin, Angus, more than 300 properties were evacuated after the River South Esk burst its banks and flooded the town centre. The local council declared a major incident and set up a rest centre at Brechin High School for the affected residents.
In Perth and Kinross, around 200 homes were evacuated in Alyth, Blairgowrie, and Coupar Angus, where the River Isla reached record levels. The council also opened rest centres and provided emergency accommodation for those in need.
The storm also left thousands of households without power across Scotland. Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) said it had restored power to more than 40,000 customers since Tuesday, but around 2,000 customers remained without electricity on Wednesday night. The company said it had mobilised more than 500 staff and contractors to deal with the damage caused by the storm.
Travel chaos as roads, railways, and airports affected
The storm also caused significant disruption to the transport network, with many roads, railways, and airports affected by the adverse weather. The Met Office issued yellow and amber warnings for wind, rain, and snow, advising people to avoid all but essential travel.
Many roads were closed or blocked by fallen trees, debris, and floodwater, including parts of the A9, A90, A92, and A96. Drivers were urged to drive with caution and check the latest traffic updates before setting off.
Many rail services were also cancelled or delayed due to flooding, landslips, and fallen trees on the tracks. ScotRail said it was working with Network Rail to clear the routes and resume normal service as soon as possible, but advised passengers to check their journey before travelling.
Several flights were also cancelled or diverted due to the high winds and poor visibility. Edinburgh Airport said it had cancelled 18 flights and diverted six others on Wednesday, while Glasgow Airport said it had cancelled 12 flights and diverted four others. Aberdeen Airport said it had cancelled four flights and diverted one other. Passengers were advised to contact their airlines for the latest information.
Storm Gerrit expected to ease by Thursday
The Met Office said the storm was expected to ease by Thursday, with the weather warnings lifted by the afternoon. However, it warned that some residual impacts from the storm could still be felt, such as flooding, icy patches, and strong winds.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) said it had issued 28 flood warnings and 16 flood alerts across Scotland, and urged people to stay away from floodwater and coastal areas. It said it was working closely with the emergency services and local authorities to monitor the situation and provide advice.
The Scottish Government said it was in contact with the relevant agencies and local authorities to ensure a coordinated response to the storm. It said it was ready to provide any assistance or support that may be required.