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Storm Babet: Woman who died in floods named - after son found her body 'floating in the water'

A woman who died in floods caused by Storm Babet has been named - as her son described finding her body "floating in the water".

Maureen Gilbert, 83, was found dead in her home on Saturday morning in Chesterfield.

Her son Paul Gilbert told Sky News his mother lived downstairs because she was disabled and he had spent hours putting up flood defences in the hope they would protect her.

But she rang him on Friday afternoon and said there was "water coming in the house", Mr Gilbert said.

It took him seven hours to reach the property and when he arrived "it was already flooded way too much", he added.


"The water was nearly up to basically my eyes," Mr Gilbert said.

"I was hoping she'd got upstairs and everything was alright and that we'd see her the next morning."

Mr Gilbert said emergency services were unable to enter the property due to the volume of water and planned to return the next morning.

He said he returned to the building himself at 9.30am on Saturday and "came to the window, forced it open and found my mum floating in the water".

'People get forgotten down here'

Mr Gilbert said he was "very angry", adding: "I don't think there's enough being done with flood defences.

"People get forgotten down here - nobody got it as bad as we did in 2007 and now this year."

Chesterfield was badly affected by severe flooding across parts of the UK 16 years ago.

The May-July period in 2007 was the wettest since records began, causing billions of pounds in damage.

Mr Gilbert said people on his mother's street "did as much as they could" to prepare for Storm Babet, which is estimated to have flooded more than 1,200 homes across England.

"I thought if the flood defence worked, she was safe," he added.

"For me to have to come and find her myself was upsetting.

"I can't put it into words what it means at the moment."

Read more:
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Why we're likely to see more storms like Babet

A police spokesman said: "Investigations are continuing into the cause and circumstances surrounding her death, but it is believed it is related to the flooding seen in the Chesterfield area."

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service said floodwaters in the north of the county have mostly reduced, but warned people to be aware of the debris left behind.

"We are being very vigilant around that and we are moving a lot of resources to the south of the county should any incidents happen there," area manager Clive Stanbrook added.

Three other people have died since the storm hit the UK on Wednesday, while a search continues in Aberdeenshire after a report of a man trapped in a vehicle in floodwater.

The Environment Agency has warned major rivers in affected areas, including Nottinghamshire, could be flooded until Tuesday, while train services in parts of Scotland, Yorkshire, and East Anglia remain disrupted.