Pictured: Woman who died after being swept away in river during Storm Babet

Seven people have died in weather-related incidents since Storm Babet made landfall

Andy Gregory
Sunday 22 October 2023 19:40 BST
Storm Babet wreaks havoc in rare red weather warning

The family of Wendy Taylor, who died after being swept into a river during Storm Babet, have paid tribute to the 57-year-old as their “ray of sunshine”.

Seven people are feared to have lost their lives in weather-related incidents since the storm made landfall on Wednesday, bringing huge amounts rain which has caused severe flooding still intensifying in parts of the UK.

Among them is Ms Taylor, who was swept into the Water of Lee in Glen Esk on Thursday.

Wendy Taylor, 57, died after being swept into the Water of Lee

In a statement released through Police Scotland, her family 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. She was a ray of sunshine for everyone who was fortunate enough to know her. 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.

“Our family would like to thank Police Scotland for their professionalism and sensitivity in recent days. And in particular Paul Morgan of Police Mountain Rescue for recovering Wendy.

“Thank you to all of our extended family and friends for supporting us through this indescribably difficult time.”

The Met Office had issued two rare “red alerts” for rain in eastern Scotland, where people were airlifted from their homes and rescued in boats and canoes.

John Gillan, 56, was the first person reported to have died, after his van was hit by a tree near Forfar, while a search is also under way in Aberdeenshire after a report of a man trapped in a vehicle in floodwater.

Members of the emergency services help local residents to safety in Brechin, Angus

West Mercia Police said a man in his 60s had also died after getting caught in fast-flowing floodwaters in Shropshire, while two women were killed in a crash on the M4 involving a lorry and four cars, according to the MailOnline, with a teenage driver was killed in another crash hours later.

Maureen Gilbert, aged 83, was then found dead by her son and grandson on Saturday after she tried to flee rising water levels in her flooded home in Derbyshire.

Flood high tide marks are seen over 5 foot high in the front room of Maureen Gilbert in Chesterfield

As water levels continue to rise, two severe flood warnings have since been issued around the River Idle, near Retford in Nottinghamshire, meaning there is a risk of death or serious injury.

The River Idle is expected to reach record levels as flooding continues, with 200 properties having been asked to evacuate by Nottinghamshire Fire Service. More than 1,200 properties in England alone have been flooded, with a further 22,000 protected by defences.

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.

Additional reporting by PA

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