Thu. May 30th, 2024

The family of Maureen Gilbert spoke of their heartbreak at finding her body (Picture: SWNS)

Tributes have been paid to an 83-year-old grandmother who died in her Chesterfield home due to flooding from Storm Babet.

Maureen Gilbert had lived on the same street in the Derbyshire town all her life and had previously survived a devastating flood in 2007, her family said.

Kaye Gilbert, Maureen’s daughter-in-law, said her husband Paul had tried to check on his mum the previous night but had been stopped by the extreme extent of the flooding.

Get all the latest Storm Babet news on our live blog here.

On the family’s GoFundMe page, Kaye 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.’

Family pictures of Maureen and her late husband Jack Gilbert were on display at her home (Picture: Courtesy Gilbert family/SWNS)

A friend of Maureen’s, who did not give her name, said: ‘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?’

Neighbours said Maureen had barely left the house on the town’s Tapton Terrace since the Covid pandemic, and Paul had recently installed flood barriers outside.

However, the additional equipment was inadequate in the face of floods that far exceeded those seen 16 years before.

Chesterfield was heavily impacted by flooding in the wake of Storm Babet (Picture: Ioannis Alexopoulos/LNP)

A police spokesperson said: ‘An investigation has been launched after the body of a woman was found at a property in Chesterfield.

‘Derbyshire Constabulary were called just after 10.35am on Saturday 21 October to the sudden death of a woman in Tapton Terrace, Chesterfield.

‘Officers, along with colleagues from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service and from East Midlands Ambulance Service, arrived at the property and found a woman, aged in her 80s, inside the flat.

‘Investigations are continuing into the cause and circumstances surrounding her death.’

More: Weather

A man in his sixties died on Friday after he was caught up in fast-flowing floodwater in the town of Cleobury Mortimer in Shropshire.

Earlier in the week, two people had died in the Scottish region of Angus due to the impact of Storm Babet, and a man in Aberdeenshire remains missing.

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