A housebound grandmother who died trying to flee her flooded home has been confirmed as one of Storm Babet’s victims.
Maureen Gilbert, 83, lived on her street in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, all her life, family members said.
She was unable to escape as rising flood water gushed into the property after the nearby river burst its banks.
Confirmation of Ms Gilbert’s death came as two new danger to life flood warnings were issued in England and hundreds of people ordered to evacuate a village.
The pensioner was found by her son and grandson, who had become concerned for her welfare when the street flooded.
But despite her son Paul installing flood defences at the house, which was previously ravaged by floods in 2006, the water could not be stopped.
It is believed water in the street was chest height at its peak.
Ms Gilbert, who neighbours said had barely left the house since before the pandemic, lived downstairs in the property as she was unable to go upstairs.
It is thought she required four visits a day from carers.
Writing on a fundraising page, her daughter-in-law Kaye said: "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.”
She added: "My husband put his mother’s 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."
Heartbroken Paul went back to the mid-terraced house on Sunday to try to salvage any sodden belongings from the property.
Pictures from inside the house show precious mementos dotted about the living room, including a photo from her wedding day with late husband Jack.
A heartbroken friend said of Ms Gilbert: "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?"
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.
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.
Nottinghamshire County Council declared a major incident and ordered residents of some 500 homes in Retford to evacuate.
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.
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 4pm on Sunday, 147 flood warnings, where less dangerous flooding is expected, remained in place across England.