COPENHAGEN: Much of northern Europe braced for stormy weather and gale-force winds from the east on Thursday, with authorities warning that floods could cause major problems in inland Danish waters, in the Baltic Sea and in the north of the UK
Danish broadcaster TV2 reported that the region would likely see the worst flooding in 110 years, and the Danish Meteorological Institute said waves could reach 4 meters along east-facing coasts.
In the UK, the Met Office issued a rare red alert — the highest level of weather warning — for parts of Scotland, warning of “exceptional rainfall” Thursday and Friday and the possibility of a “danger to life” from extensive flooding.
The last red alert in the UK was issued in 2020. Officials warned Scots to stay away from coastal areas.
In Ireland, the storm — named Storm Babet by UK officials — brought flooding to several towns and villages, with some areas remaining under water and without power Thursday.
Soldiers helped with evacuation measures in the town of Midleton in County Cork, where more than 100 properties were flooded.
In Denmark, residents scrambled to place sandbags along exposed areas. In Assens on the central island of Funen, the Danish Emergency Management Agency was deploying huge rubber tubes in the harbor to counter rising water levels, TV2 said. Southern Denmark police urged people along the east coast to leave exposed areas if the weather predictions remain, saying cottages, harbors and other places could be flooded.
The southeastern Danish town of Koege wrote on its Facebook page that emergency workers were busy filling sandbags and urged citizens to “avoid unnecessary baths, dishes, laundry and other water-intensive activities,” saying “the municipality’s treatment plant was at risk of being overloaded.”
Police in the area warned that roads may be blocked, urged people to secure valuables and advised against sleeping on their boats in the harbors, saying that “if something happens, emergency services cannot get to them,” police spokesperson Brian Bang-Rasmussen said.
Copenhagen’s airport and the Danish national rail company warned of cancellations and delays Friday because of bad weather.
Several ferry lines between Danish islands were suspended, as were ferries to Rostock in northern Germany and to Oslo.