Fellow locals of Storm Babet victim, 83, reveal flood devastation

Fellow locals of 83-year-old Storm Babet victim speak of devastation caused by flooding, with one saying he’s been forced to hire pump truck to remove 150-tonnes of water

  • Resident of Chesterfield street where woman, 83, died pumped 150t of water
  • Maureen Gilbert was found dead on the ground floor of her flooded home

Fellow locals of the 83-year-old Storm Babet victim whose lifeless body floating in the floodwaters at her waterlogged home have spoken of the devastation caused by the flooding – including a neighbour who was forced to pump 150 tonnes of water.

Housebound grandmother Maureen Gilbert died after Storm Babet floodwaters rushed into her home in Chesterfield, Derbyshire quicker than she could get upstairs to evade them on Saturday morning.

Dave Thomas, 76, a fellow resident of Tapton Terrace, where Mrs Gilbert had lived all her life, said he had to pay for his own tanker to come and pump out the water, with nearly 150 tonnes removed on Sunday afternoon.

Mr Thomas said: ‘I had a pump come, it got about 150 tonnes. This is the second one I’ve had, the first was 2007.

‘I knew Maureen well, she was lovely. She’s been here years. Her only problem was once you got her talking you couldn’t get away. She was lovely.’

Dave Thomas, 76, a fellow resident of Tapton Terrace, where Mrs Gilbert had lived all her life, said he had to pay for his own tanker to come and pump out the water, with nearly 150 tonnes removed on Sunday afternoon

Anne Squires, 38, has been forced to start again after flooding ripped through her house

Flowers were left outside Mrs Gilbert’s home on Sunday after her son and grandson found her body at home in Chesterfield on Saturday

A general view of flooding at the back of Tapton Terrace in Chesterfield, Derbyshire

Mr Thomas paid for 150 tonnes of water to be removed by a pump on Tapton Terrace

Anne Squires, 38, has lost everything in the flooding and does not have insurance

Streets in Chesterfield have been washed out while fire and rescue bosses have declared a ‘major incident’ amid heavy rains and widespread floods

Another local, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘Maureen has been here years, since she was little I think.

READ MORE: Heartbroken son of Storm Babet victim describes harrowing moment he found his housebound mother, 83, dead at home floodwaters rushed in – as pensioner becomes ninth to be killed in deadly UK weather

‘People say she used to be on the front a lot or watching cricket. I know it affected Dave a lot, upset him hearing about what happened.’

Mrs Gilbert’s son shaken Paul Gilbert today told how his mother dead on the bottom floor of her flooded home in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. He had desperately tried all he could to protect her house on Friday morning spending hours putting up flood defences and believing the near 4ft-high flood barrier would be enough to stop the waters. 

He had heaved her bed upstairs in case the worst happened and an hour after he left at around midday he received a panicked phone call from Maureen saying the waters were seeping through into her home. He asked her to get all of her stuff ready and to go upstairs before making the seven hour journey back where he discovered her home was flooded. 

Firefighters smashed the rear window but were unable to gain access to the property despite the water ‘being up to Paul’s eyes’ and they stopped the doting son from trying to get in himself, he claimed.

They promised Paul they would try again on Saturday morning but after waiting for a call that never came, the son went to his mother’s home at 9.30am and forced the window open where he discovered Maureen dead floating in the water.

Anne Squires, 38, has been forced to start again after flooding ripped through her house.

The married mother-of-one said: ‘I’ve been here since I was 13. It was my mums house. Maureen was a lovely lady. She was lovely. It’s sad, we knew her.

‘I’m refusing to move out, I’m disabled and so is my husband. I have chronic blood clots so I need my oxygen while walking about.

‘I managed to save the ashes of my two children on the mantelpiece.

‘We don’t have insurance. We would’ve had to pay £500 a month for insurance. With a discount. When you don’t work and you’re disabled, you tell me where you get £500 a month from. It’s more than my rent. I can’t afford it.

‘We’re living upstairs in the house, me, my husband, my little lad and eight cats. We nearly lost one of them, he nearly drowned. I never want to hear a cat gurgling again.

‘Everything has gone down here. Everyday items have gone here, you need to start from scratch. It’s the time and effort.

‘This is my second time, I went through it in 2007. It wasn’t as bad as this. It was about 5ft high in the house.

‘There’s no council people helping like there is on Chatsworth Road. You go up there and there’s thousands of council men helping everyone. We haven’t got it, nobody’s here to help us.

‘The MP has been down and trying his hardest. The next door neighbour Dave paid for the tankers to come and pump us out.

‘They took 150 tonnes of water off of the street but we still had 2ft of water in our gardens left.

‘We have to wade through it all to get food and water. You get soaking wet, you can’t go in a pub soaking wet and freezing.

‘You have to strip off. We have no washers or dryers. Dave paid for the tankers. We were the worst.

‘We’ve had a death here, under 7ft of water but there’s no one here. Chatsworth Road have the help.

‘I’ve lost my mobility scooters. I took cover out on my sofas but they don’t cover floods. I’ve got £2,000 left to pay. We have flood doors but it got through it within a day.’

A general view of Tapton Terrace in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, showing the property where Maureen Gilbert, 83, was found dead on Saturday evening

Residents of Tapton Terrace were left with their belongings destroyed after heavy flooding

Paul Gilbert found his elderly disabled mother Maureen’s lifeless body floating in the waters of her flooded home in Chesterfield, Derbyshire

Maureen Gilbert with her husband Jack on their wedding day in 1975; Mrs Gilbert has died in Storm Babet after floodwaters burst into her home

Dave Thomas, 76 has lost everything in the flood and has no insurance. Residents on Tapton Terrace, Chesterfield speak about their heart ache after losing a neighbour and all their homes in the flooding.

‘I’ve lost my mobility scooters. I took cover out on my sofas but they don’t cover floods. I’ve got £2,000 left to pay. We have flood doors but it got through it within a day,’ said Anne Squires

Dave Thomas’s ruined living room in Tapton Terrace, Chesterfield after Storm Babet flooding

The floodline clearly marked several feet high up this wall inside a house on Tapton Terrace

A former local who lived on the street 20 years ago shared their views on the recent flooding. The man, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘It’s a simple solution. Dredge that river. Clean it out, make it 10ft deeper and it will never flood again.

‘It came as high as the light switches. I’ve never known it like this. We had our wedding here.’

Speaking fondly of flooding victim Mrs Gilbert, he said: ‘I can remember Maureen, we used to have a chat with her. She’s been here since she was young, it was her and Jack and their sons. I was here 25 years and I had a garage here and used to fix locals cars.

‘We’ve been meaning to lay some flowers for her. We used to come and have a natter with her. I can’t get my head around why we keep building on floodplains.’

Locals Adam Duffy, 34, and his fiance Olivia Gallagher, 31, moved into their home on Tapton Terrace in 2018.

Their new kitchen was ruined and their downstairs was left covered in mud and smelling of faeces. The couple and their son are living in a hotel nearby.

Mr Duffy said: ‘We’ve been here five years now, since 2018. We had nearly 16 bins on the back.

‘It’s just a mess. We were thinking we’d get lucky as we’re higher up but others higher got wet too.

‘The police were here on Saturday but couldn’t get into it. They think she drowned.

‘We’ve got to gut it and take it back to brick. We’ve got to replace everything. We’ve got valuables that we didn’t have time to get just ruined.

‘We’re staying in a hotel at the moment, we’re just sorting insurance.

‘We knew it was flooded. We had a £2,500 flood door installed but it let more water in than the original door. They wanted to put us in Sheffield, over 30 minutes away.

His fiance Ms Gallagher added: ‘It just absolutely stinks. All our stuff is ruined. It’s just pure sewage inside the house. It smells like poo.

‘It’s horrendous. Everything in the out house has ended up on the back.

‘We’ve just had it redecorated as we’ve had a burst pipe under the kitchen. We’ve had to have a new bathroom and a new kitchen. Now it’s water damaged and we’ve got to rip the whole house out.

‘My little boy can’t work out why we can’t go back in. When the council replace everyone’s front door, you think you’re safe.

‘We can’t start sorting our house out until the insurance is done but they haven’t been out yet.

‘My son has only just started school, he’s four. When he’s not there he’s at home. We had to save his toys.’

Flooding devastates the Derbyshire town of Chesterfield, where a woman in her 80s was found dead on Saturday

A local in Chesterfield gets a piggyback from a rescue worker as he is carried out of a flood-stricken street

Pensioner Mrs Gilbert had lived in the street all of her life, her heartbroken family said on Sunday, after detailing how her son and grandson found her body at home on the morning of October 21 despite efforts to waterproof the house.

Maureen, who neighbours said had barely left the house in years, lived downstairs in the two-story home as she had mobility problems and was unable to go upstairs; when water flooded into her home at ‘chest height’ she was unable to escape.

READ MORE: Storm Babet batters Europe: Chaos on the continent as heavy rain and gale force winds pound France, Germany and Scandinavia


GERMANY: People make their way across the a flooded street in Flensburg, northern Germany’

Derbyshire Police say they were called out to a property in Tapton Terrace at 10.35am on Saturday.

Her daughter-in-law has told how chest-high flood defences in the doorways were overcome when the River Rother burst outside, with water ‘pouring over at rapid speed’.

In a crowdfunding appeal, Kaye Gilbert said the property in Tapton Terrace, Chesterfield, had previously flooded in 2007. It was not insured because the family had been quoted a £10,000 excess to clean and restore it following flood damage.

Teaching assistant Mrs Gilbert, 47, lives in the nearby village of Clowne with husband Paul, also 47, a landscape gardener. 

She wrote: ‘After a sleepless night, my husband and son found my 83 year old, housebound, mother-in-law, had passed away.

‘She had unfortunately been unable to escape upstairs at the speed the water levels were rising.

‘Not only do we have an uninsured house as the excess for flood damage was over £10,000 to clean and restore but a funeral to pay for all whilst grieving.

‘She lived on the street all her life, rebuilding after the 2007 flood was hard for us and her but this is just devastating. We now only have memories as everything else is gone.

‘My husband put his mothers flood defences up to his chest in the doorways and made preparations to secure the house as he has done many times during such weather warnings.

‘However, when the river burst, the water just came pouring over at rapid speed and the defences did very little.

‘The waters were much higher than the 2007 flood and came with a faster flow and pressure which resulted in my husband being stopped from trying to enter the property to check on his mum.’

Neighbours said Mrs Gilbert had been housebound for around three years and is thought to have been attended to daily by carers.

A nearby resident told the Mail widower Mrs Gilbert, who had a second son, John, 44, had been bed-bound and unable to escape the raging torrent.

‘I spoke to one of her neighbours who said she was bedbound’, the resident said. ‘The water has come up above the bed.

‘It’s awful. It’s given me nightmares thinking about that poor lady.’

A woman wades through ankle-deep floodwaters in Chesterfield, Derbyshire in the aftermath of Storm Babet on Sunday

RETFORD: A woman in wellington boots carries a suitcase as she evacuates from her house in the Nottinghamshire town, where locals have been told to leave if asked to do so

RETFORD: Two ‘danger to life’ alerts have been issued across the Nottinghamshire area after local rivers reached record new heights

Just under 200 flood alerts remain in place across England today as the great clean-up begins – with a new severe flood alert issued in Nottinghamshire

A small number of flood warnings remain in effect across northern Scotland (left) and in both northern and southern Wales (right)

CATCLIFFE: Houses sit up to their windows in water after heavy rains caused the nearby River Rother to burst its banks, just outside Sheffield

READ MORE: Moment fisherman out at sea tucks into his breakfast while his boat is battered by huge waves as Storm Babet barrels down on Britain 

The woman said she spent Saturday afternoon helping to rescue belongings from a property on the other side of the river in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, where the water level rose to ‘just a few feet below the top of the doors’ on the ground floor.

‘It was coming in so fast’, she added. ‘It would have been just the same on the other side at Tapton Terrace. These areas are always amongst the first locations in Chesterfield to flood.’

Mrs Gilbert’s husband, Jack, died in 1997 at the age of 67. Derbyshire Constabulary said an investigation has been launched after the body of a woman was found at a property in Chesterfield.

A spokesman said officers were called to a ‘sudden death’ on Saturday morning with colleagues from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service and from East Midlands Ambulance Service. They found ‘a woman, aged in her 80s, inside the flat.’

The spokesman added: ‘The woman was found in a flooded property. Enquiries are ongoing into the circumstances of her death.

But the cause of her death is unascertained at this time.’

A major incident was declared in the county on Friday due to rising river levels, but Derbyshire Dales District Council this afternoon said major incident status had been removed in the county as river levels in the upper Derwent began to fall.

Heartbroken Paul has been back to the mid-terraced house today to try to salvage any sodden belongings from the property.

A heartbroken friend today said of Maureen: ‘She was such a character, she was a massive football fan, she was a big Liverpool fan and followed Chesterfield too.

‘I’m devastated, it’s just heartbreaking it could have been allowed to happen. I think questions need to be asked.

‘Surely there should be a central database of housebound residents so they can be made a priority for help?’

Derby City Council said they are seeing record-breaking water levels in the River Derwent – which left much of the village of Sandiacre underwater – and warned that cleaning up after the floods could take several days. 

Mrs Gilbert’s is believed to be the ninth linked to Storm Babet, which arrived in the UK late on Wednesday causing chaos on the roads, railways and in local communities which have been devastated by flood waters.

Flooding devastates the Derbyshire town of Chesterfield, where Mrs Gilbert was found dead

Streets in Chesterfield have been washed out while fire and rescue bosses have declared a ‘major incident’ amid heavy rains and widespread floods

A local in Chesterfield gets a piggyback from a rescue worker as he is carried out of a flood-stricken street

Vehicles were abandoned on Derby Road in Chesterfield early on Saturday amid rising water levels

A man carries his cat and essential supplies away from his home in Chesterfield on Saturday

READ MORE: Dramatic moment a bus is swept away in flooded French river after huge rainfall from Storm Aline – as northern Europe faces a battering from Storm Babet 

In Scotland, a 57-year-old woman was swept to her death in the Glen Esk valley in Angus early on Thursday afternoon.

Police were called to the Water of Lee at 1.45pm before finding her body just over two hours later.

Hours later, a 56-year-old man was killed by a falling tree close to Forfar, 20 miles away; police say he was pronounced dead at the scene.

A man in his 60s was swept away by flood waters in Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire on Friday.

Elsewhere, police are said to be treating a crash in Halifax that killed a 19-year-old man and a pile-up on the M4 that killed two women, both on Friday, as being related to the inclement weather conditions. 

And a man and a woman were killed after their car plunged from a bridge near Skipton, North Yorkshire, on Saturday afternoon; officers have not stated whether the car left the bridge as a result of the stormy winds and heavy rain.

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

On Sunday, Nottinghamshire County Council declared a major incident in the town of Retford, which sits on the River Idle, and has advised residents of some 500 homes to leave. Water levels on the Idle hit 2.56m as of 12pm on Sunday – the previous record was 2.4m in 2007. 

In Retford, emergency services have been seen speaking to people on their doorsteps as water pours into residential streets up to knee height. 

Lifelong resident Brendan Hunt, 54, detailed how he moved as many of his possessions upstairs as possible, placing other furniture and appliances on wooden blocks eight inches off the ground in a bid to minimise the risk of water damage.

He said: ‘Water was coming up through the storm drains and it just got deeper and deeper until one side of the road’s water joined the other side of the road.

‘Then it filled the pavements, then it filled everybody’s gardens. It got to within millimetres of coming in the front door.

‘It is still right up to the threshold of the front door… the Environment Agency says before 8pm tonight there’s another 30cm on its way.’

Nottinghamshire County Council said in a statement issued Sunday: ‘These Severe Flood Warnings have been issued because of flooding in Thrumpton, Retford, as a result of Storm Babet.

‘Residents in all of these areas are being asked to prepare to evacuate their homes. Emergency services are supporting residents to evacuate where needed. Please make sure you leave your homes when directed to do so.’

Elsewhere in Nottinghamshire, nearly 50 horses and ponies were evacuated after floodwater deluged the St Leonard’s Riding School And Livery Stable in Toton.

Sally Carnelley, 69, and her daughter Tara, 39, keep about 22 of their own horses and ponies on-site, also caring for some 28 livery horses.

Ms Carnelley told the PA news agency: ‘It’s devastating. It looks like an earthquake. It’s like the earth has moved, it’s moved all the floor.’

RETFORD: A man carries his dog through the flood-stricken streets of the Nottinghamshire town, after the county council advised locals to prepare to evacuate on Sunday

LEOMINSTER: Flooded fields surround the roads and railways of the Herefordshire town after the River Lugg burst its banks

A yellow weather warning for ice has been issued for overnight Sunday by the Met Office, less than 24 hours after the abatement of Storm Babet

Temperatures will dip close to zero in the Highlands and Borders regions overnight – prompting the Met Office to issue a yellow ‘be aware’ weather warning for ice

SHEFFIELD: Cars sit abandoned in floodwaters in the village of Catcliffe in the early hours of Sunday morning 

CATCLIFFE: A view from above of the South Yorkshire town, where residents have been evacuated from their homes

RETFORD: A Land Rover driver churns his way along waterlogged roads in the Nottinghamshire town

CHESTERFIELD: A worker begins clearing the drains after floods washed out much of the Derbyshire town

READ MORE: Incredible moment woman commutes home by KAYAK during Storm Babet as she passes sunken car with heavy downpours sparking deluge 

As of 4pm on Sunday, two severe ‘danger to life’ flood warnings and 151 standard flood warnings – meaning flooding is ‘expected’ – are in effect across England; in Scotland and Wales, one flood warning apiece remains in effect.

And even as the storm abates, forecasters have already issued a fresh weather warning as a cold snap looks set to bite overnight into Monday. 

The Met Office has issued a yellow ‘be aware’ warning for ice covering most of mainland Scotland as well as parts of northern England; the forecaster warns Brits to expect ‘icy patches’ and to take care to avoid ‘slips and falls on icy surfaces’.

The yellow weather warning stretches from the very top of Scotland down to Corbridge, around 20 miles west of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and runs from 9pm on Sunday until 9am Monday.

The warning covers the major Scottish cities as well as the Angus and Aberdeenshire regions, which have been devastated by flooding during Storm Babet.

Temperatures will hover just above freezing in the Highlands and Borders regions overnight, according to the forecaster; further south, overnight temperatures will be a relatively balmy 12-13C.

While Babet has passed, the storm has flooded out Britain’s rail network; Environment Agency bosses say that flooding is likely to last until Tuesday.

Katharine Smith, flood duty manager at the Environment Agency, says teams have been sent to the worst-affected areas to operate flood barriers and put up temporary defences, including pumps to get rid of flood waters.

She added: ‘Following persistent, heavy rain from Storm Babet, severe river flooding impacts are probable in parts of the East Midlands and South Yorkshire…into Sunday.

‘Ongoing flooding is probable on some larger rivers including the Severn, Ouse and Trent through to Tuesday.

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

In Brechin, east Scotland, where hundreds of people have been evacuated, local councillors say some residents are unlikely to get home before Christmas after river levels surged to more than five metres.

Local authority Angus Council had spent millions on a flood defence scheme for the region that was meant to provide protection against a ‘one-in-200 year’ flood; the works for the 3.8m barriers were completed just seven years ago.

Speaking to the BBC’s Sunday Show, local Tory representative Gavin Nicol said: ‘There’s sludge and silt everywhere – it’s contaminated sludge and silt – and it’ll take a fair bit of cleaning up.

‘It’ll be an extensive period – it’ll take a fair bit of sorting…these houses won’t be ready by Christmas.

‘I’m hoping the First Minister will take pity on us and give us some more money for Angus Council.’

Brechin residents who returned to their homes on Sunday found ‘mind-blowing’ devastation caused after the South Esk burst its banks. 

David Stewart, 68, said: ‘It’s just absolutely mind-blowing. The devastation looks even worse than I thought.’

Brian Petrie, 66, returned to find the lower floor of his house covered in silt and mud, with the carpet squelching as he walked and the fridge upended.

His 92-year-old mother had to be rescued, as he recalled: ‘The Coastguards and paramedics got her down the stairs in a stretcher and took her in a dinghy up to the ambulance.’

George Wilson, 66, returned to find ‘awful’ damage in his home, adding: ‘I’m still trying to get my head around it.’

In remarks reported by the Press and Journal, Angus Council environmental officer Jacqui Semple said there may be some residents who will never be able to return to their homes after the floods.

She told a media briefing: ‘There remains concern that parts of River Street could completely give way and it is unlikely that some residents will (ever) be able to return to their homes.

‘The amount of water that flooded onto the street was significant and the full extent of the damage is unknown.

‘Parts of the road have completely crumbled away and that could have a significant impact on the future of the street.’

HOLYWELL: Flooding on the high street threatens to encroach on a local pub in this Cambridgeshire village on Sunday morning

DUNDEE: A car sits in the remains of a collapsed bridge at Fowlis, near the Scottish city, after Storm Babet. Locals said the occupant was rescued by a farmer

SANIACRE: An entire neighbourhood of the Derbyshire town sits partially submerged after severe flooding. Fire and rescue services have declared a ‘major incident’ in the county

YORK: Flooding along the River Ouse in the centre of York early on Sunday, where waters are continuing to rise

SOUTH SHIELDS: The sun rises over the Tyne and Wear town’s lighthouse, which had its top ripped off by huge waves during Storm Babet, on Sunday 

DERBY: Fields near Derby rugby club sit underwater after the River Derwent burst its banks

BRECHIN: Angus Council worker Gav Stewart proudly shows off a fish he found among the detritus after the River South Esk burst its banks and flooded the eastern Scottish town 

READ MORE: ‘King’s Cross was more dangerous than Jordan’: Passenger with Parkinson’s disease describes scenes at London station amid Storm Babet cancellation chaos

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

Throughout Sunday, disruption is expected on LNER, Scotrail, Northern, Transpennine Express, Greater Anglia, Transport for Wales, CrossCountry and East Midlands Railway services. 

LNER has advised its customers to not travel north of Edinburgh, and there are no services operating from the city towards Aberdeen or Inverness.

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

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

Services are also disrupted across parts of Yorkshire and East Anglia with some routes still flooded, Network Rail said.

LNER said urgent repairs are taking place at Plessey Viaduct and there is a limited service between Morpeth and Newcastle.

Caledonian Sleeper services are said to be running as normal between Scotland and London – but there is a ‘high probability’ of them being affected.

Routes across the East Midlands have been suspended or partially suspended until Monday; East Midlands Railway says it will honour tickets bought for the weekend until the end of Tuesday.

In a statement published on its website on Sunday morning, National Rail said: ‘Disruption to trains is expected on some routes until the end of the day. Please check your whole journey before travelling.’

Clean-ups are underway in communities across the country as the flood waters finally began to subside. 

Derby City Council said they are seeing record-breaking water levels in the River Derwent – which left much of the village of Sandiacre underwater – and warned that cleaning up after the floods could take several days. 

Wedding photographer Harvey Morgans, who captured dramatic footage of the submerged streets, was left stunned by what he saw on his drone.

He said: ‘It’s affected everyone on the street, devastated a lot of people’s houses and livelihoods.

‘The knock on effect over the next few months – people replacing cars and fixing property – will be massive.’

It comes as 59 people and 12 animals were rescued from flooded homes in neighbouring Stapleford.

In Sheffield, South Yorkshire, 120 homes have been evacuated in the Catcliffe area after devastating flooding.

The River Rother reached heights of 30.44m, exceeding the level it reached in 2007 when the area was ravaged by disastrous floods.

Derbyshire Fire Service said more than 100 people had to be rescued in the county on Friday, including 20 people at a care home in Duffield.

In Wales, a severe flood warning had been issued for the village of Llandrinio, Powys, as well as isolated properties in the Severn-Vyrnwy confluence area. 

In the North Sea, more than half the staff manning a drilling platform were airlifted to other sites after several of its anchors came loose during Storm Babet.

LONDON: Passengers pack out King’s Cross Station on Saturday after train operators cancel services. The terminal was later temporarily closed while police controlled the crowds

DERBY: A youngster on a bodyboard makes the most of the unusual weather conditions

CHESTERFIELD: A man gets a piggyback from a rescue worker to escape floodwaters

HORNSEA: A fallen tree lands in the garden of East Yorkshire resident Tessa Coombes during Storm Babet

ALCONBURY: A local resident goes to extreme lengths to get a photo of the devastation in Cambridgeshire on Saturday

INVERURIE: Emergency workers go door to door speaking with residents and distributing sandbags in the Aberdeenshire town over the weekend

READ MORE: Storm Babet leaves entire village underwater as floods devastate swathes of Britain – with travel disruption expected to continue today 

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Coastguard helicopters were called upon to move 45 non-essential workers from the Stena Spey to neighbouring platforms and to Sumburgh on the Shetland Islands on Saturday due to the incident.

The rig is located around 146 miles east of Aberdeen. Stena Drilling said four out of eight anchors became detached from the drilling unit because of the severe weather.

Rest centres were set up in Angus with more than 50 people opting to stay in one in Brechin after they were evacuated from their homes as the River South Esk breached the town’s flood defences early on Friday morning.

Residents of nearby Bridge of Dun had to be airlifted via helicopter, while in other areas people stranded by flood waters were rescued by boats, including canoes.

Scottish justice secretary Angela Constance, who chaired a government meeting on the country’s ‘exceptional’ rainfall on Saturday, said: ‘The impact will be felt in communities for some time to come.’

National Rail has warned of major disruption on the railways until the end of the day due to both flooding on the railways and the weather displacing train crews – meaning some services have been unable to run at all.

Police closed down King’s Cross Station yesterday due to overcrowding, as rail bosses begged passengers to use different terminals amidst the chaos.

Temporary crowd control measures were instated by police before eventually being lifted at around 5pm – even as operators advised passengers not to travel.

Passenger John Hinson, who has Parkinson’s disease, said he felt safer holidaying in Jordan – which lies between Syria and Israel – for the last two weeks than he did arriving at the London terminal.

He told PA: ‘It was just so dangerous. I have Parkinson’s and I have difficulty walking, so my wife went to ask for assistance and all assistance was cancelled.

‘We were basically told that if we cannot get the train, we need to cancel and come back again.’

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