A BRECHIN councillor has described the devastation caused by Storm Babet in the town as “horrific” with people trapped in closes and boats unable to reach them.

Jill Scott, who represents Brechin and Edzell on Angus Council, said the storm had left hundreds of homes flooded after the River South Esk burst its banks overnight.

She told the PA News agency 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.

Scott added the family of three, including a woman in her 60s, her son and grandson, are currently unable to be rescued due to the force of the floodwater.

READ MORE: Body found as woman swept into river in Angus

She said: “It’s horrific. It’s just absolutely horrendous. I’ve never seen anything like it.

“People are trapped in closes, not even in River Street but round the back at Nursery Park. Some have been stuck there for hours.

“The boats are trying to get to them. They can’t get to them because the current is too strong.

“There will be hundreds of houses flooded.

“It unbelievable. It’s devastating. I don’t know what the council’s going to do to be honest – how many people they are going to have to rehome.

“People will have lost everything.”

Chris Beattie, a resident and councillor in the town, said the bottom of Brechin was under five or six feet of water.

He said: “People are being rescued and taken to the Brechin rescue centre.

“Some people are stranded – they might have several feet of water to cross to get to the door and at the moment it is not safe to do that.

“Some people are turning up at the rescue centre in soaking wet clothes so we’re asking for donations of things like toiletries and blankets.”

First Minister Humza Yousaf has said he cannot stress how dangerous” conditions in Brechin are, with the council stressing the situation will continue to worsen on Friday.

A 57-year-old woman was found dead on Thursday afternoon after being swept away by the Water of Lee, Glen Esk.

Efforts were made to convince residents of Brechin on Thursday to evacuate 400 homes, with the coastguard and fire crews going door-to-door after some people refused to leave.

Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) issued a warning that river levels could reach an “unprecedented” five metres above normal levels, and severe flood warnings were expanded for the River Esk, including into Aberdeenshire.

SEPA added the villages of Logie Mill and Craigo to places at risk of severe flooding in Angus, as well as Brechin and nearby Finavon and Tannadice, while the village of Marykirk, Aberdeenshire, was put on high alert.

Schools were closed in Angus, while funerals were cancelled in Aberdeenshire.

Deputy First Minister Shona Robison said authorities expected to “launch a major clean-up operation as we move into the weekend”.

A spokesman for Angus Council said: “As ever, we will be targeting our energies and resources on the areas of greatest need, focusing on preserving life and ensuring the safety of our citizens.”