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Fresh danger to life warnings issued as post-Babet flooding continues

Fresh danger to life warnings issued as post-Babet flooding continues

More “risk-to-life” flood warnings have been issued in England in the wake of Storm Babet as homes have been evacuated and train services disrupted.

Two severe flood warnings are in place around the River Idle, near Retford in Nottinghamshire, meaning risk of death or serious injury, as water levels continue to rise.

It comes as police said the death of a woman in her 80s at a flat in Derbyshire was believed to be flood-related, taking the number of people who have died since the storm hit the UK to at least four.

Derbyshire Police said a pensioner, named by family members as Maureen Gilbert, was found dead at about 10.35am on Saturday after officers, along with colleagues from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service and from East Midlands Ambulance Service, arrived at her property in Tapton Terrace, Chesterfield.

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Her son Paul Gilbert told Sky News he found his mother “floating in the water”.

He told the broadcaster: “I did not want to find my own mum and I expected somebody else to have found her.

“I go through so many different stages, anger, upset, I don’t know. I can’t put it into words what it means at the moment.

“I came to the window behind you, forced it open and found my mum floating in the water.”

Wendy Taylor, 57, died after being swept into the Water of Lee, Glen Esk, on Thursday, Police Scotland have said.

Her family described her as “a ray of sunshine for everyone who was fortunate enough to know her” in a tribute issued through Police Scotland.

The tribute said: “We are absolutely heartbroken to lose Wendy in such tragic circumstances and are still struggling to come to terms with it. Wendy was a beautiful, kind, funny and caring person.”

It added: “Wendy was the beloved wife, best friend and soulmate in life to George, mother to James, Sally and Susanna and Granny to India and George.”

The River Idle is expected to reach record levels as flooding continues, the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Local Resilience Forum (LRF) said, with 200 properties asked to evacuate by Nottinghamshire Fire Service.

Emergency services are supporting residents to evacuate where needed and a rest centre has been set up at Retford Leisure Centre.

The Environment Agency has warned that major rivers could still be flooded until Tuesday and train services are disrupted across parts of Scotland, Yorkshire and East Anglia, with some routes still flooded.

According to the agency, the total number of flooded properties in England is 1,229 with a further 22,000 protected by defences.

Katharine Smith, flood duty manager at the Environment Agency, said: “Widespread flooding is probable from rivers today (Sunday) in parts of the Midlands and the north of England. River flooding may continue into Monday for parts of Yorkshire and the Humber and the East Midlands.

“Environment Agency teams are out on the ground and have operated flood barriers and storage areas. Temporary defences, including pumps and barriers, have been deployed to minimise the impact of flooding where needed. Flood gates have also been closed in affected areas.

“We also advise people to stay away from swollen rivers and urge people not to drive through floodwater as just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car.”

Derby City Council said it is seeing record-breaking water levels in the River Derwent and warned that cleaning up after the floods could take several days.

Babet
Flooding in Powys in Wales (Ben Birchall/PA)

Three severe flood warnings, which means risk of death and serious injury, had been in place around the River Derwent in Derbyshire over the weekend but were downgraded on Sunday morning.

As of 11am, more than 170 flood warnings, where less dangerous flooding is expected, remained in place across England.

Meanwhile, London North Eastern Railway (LNER) has advised its customers there are no services operating north of Edinburgh to Aberdeen.

ScotRail said routes remain closed between Aberdeen and Dundee, and Aberdeen and Elgin.

The Scottish train operator said it cannot run services on the Fife Circle route, or between Inverness and Wick, Thurso and Kyle of Lochalsh.

Met Office spokesman Dave Britton said those worst affected by the flooding caused by Storm Babet could see “a couple of quieter days”.

Mr Britton told the PA news agency: “Certainly through today and tomorrow, (there is) a period of more settled weather allowing for a respite for recovery.

“There is this pulse of rain moving its way north overnight later on Monday and into Tuesday, but the rest of the week does look like it remains rather unsettled with spells of rain at times.

“But there are no warnings in force at the time for the remainder of the week, bar an ice warning for part of North Scotland tonight.”

The Energy Network Association (ENA) said a “small handful” of homes would still be without power on Sunday after around 100,000 customers were initially affected by power cuts.

On Friday, a man in his 60s died after getting caught in fast-flowing floodwater in the town of Cleobury Mortimer in Shropshire.

Police Scotland previously said a falling tree hit a van near Forfar in Angus on Thursday evening, killing the 56-year-old driver.

A search is also under way in Aberdeenshire after a report of a man trapped in a vehicle in floodwater.