Stormy seas at Brighton, southern England in February 2022 when Storm Eunice brought high winds across the country
Nottinghamshire County Council declared a major incident in response to the record levels reached by the River Idle.

In the wake of the destructive onslaught of Storm Babet, residents of a Nottinghamshire town are grappling with unprecedented flooding, forcing a mass evacuation.

This calamitous weather system, known as Storm Babet, has not only left several areas of the United Kingdom submerged in floodwaters but has also claimed the lives of five individuals.

Furthermore, the relentless deluge and fierce winds that accompanied the storm have wreaked havoc across the country, leaving destruction and heartbreak in their wake.

The storm has proven to be particularly deadly in Scotland. The latest casualty was confirmed when the lifeless body of a man was discovered, having gone

missing in his vehicle amidst the floodwaters in Aberdeenshire, located in northeast Scotland. This tragic discovery marks the third fatality attributed to the storm in Scotland.

A 56-year-old man was killed when a falling tree struck his van, while a 57-year-old woman was swept away by a surging river.

Nottinghamshire County Council has declared a major incident as a result of the extreme weather conditions, particularly concerning the soaring water levels along the River Idle. The river reached record levels on Sunday, with water levels still rising. The gravity of the situation led the council to urge the residents of Retford, a town along the River Idle, to evacuate as a matter of utmost urgency.

Residents in the affected areas, like Brendan Hunt from Retford, are left to confront the grim reality of potential property damage. As he described, the water had risen right up to the threshold of his front door.

Brendan Hunt and many others found themselves moving their possessions to higher ground during the early hours of Sunday, as they braced for the looming catastrophe. He fears that the water might infiltrate his home, causing extensive damage to the downstairs area, particularly the flooring.

Despite the alleviation of five severe flood warnings on Sunday evening, two of which pertained to the River Idle in the East Midlands and three related to the River Derwent in Derby, the Environment Agency has not given the all-clear. The agency predicts that additional rainfall will perpetuate the flooding risk, extending until Wednesday.

The River Severn, the largest river in Britain, is expected to bear the brunt of the upcoming days. It is crucial for residents in regions across the Midlands and the North of England to remain vigilant, as widespread flooding is anticipated.

The residents of Retford are not left without support, as the Nottinghamshire County Council has established a temporary shelter at Retford Leisure Centre to aid those affected by what is being described as an "unprecedented" situation.

While the flooding along the River Idle has led to evacuation and widespread damage, neighbouring regions have had their share of suffering as well.

The River Derwent in Derbyshire also witnessed record-breaking water levels over the weekend and authorities have warned that the cleanup process might extend over several days.

In the midst of this disaster, a tragic incident unfolded in Chesterfield, where a woman in her 80s, identified by her son as Maureen Gilbert, lost her life due to the flooding. Paul Gilbert, her son, revealed that emergency services had attempted to rescue his mother on Friday but were unable to enter her property.

Tragically, he discovered her submerged in the floodwaters the following morning. Derbyshire Police have launched an investigation into the cause of her death, while the community grieves the loss of yet another life due to the relentless storm.

The Environment Agency continues to issue warnings about the prolonged risk of flooding along major rivers in England due to the expected heavy rainfall. Parts of Yorkshire and the Humber, along with the East Midlands, are at risk of further flooding on Monday.

The Environment Agency has mobilised teams to support local communities and has deployed temporary defences such as pumps and barriers to mitigate the impact of flooding where necessary.

Additionally, floodgates have been closed in the affected areas, and the public is strongly advised to avoid swollen rivers and to refrain from driving through floodwater, as even 30cm of flowing water can be enough to move a vehicle.