Heartbreaking moment devastated mother enters home destroyed by Storm Babet after heavy downpours sparked flash floods across Britain
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This is the moment a devastated mother entered her home destroyed by Storm Babet after heavy downpours sparked severe flash floods across Britain.
Aisha Saeed, 49, had to leave her two-bedroom terraced house in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, last Friday before rapidly rising water destroyed all of her possessions.
More than 400 homes were evacuated in the market town and locals are now having to stay with family or in hotels after losing thousands of pounds’ worth of items.
Ms Saeed, who was renting the property, said the flood ‘totally wiped us out’ and ’99 per cent of my things have gone’ including precious family photographs.
She told how the mud and silt left behind after the floodwaters receded was ‘totally destructive’ and left an ‘awful’ smell, adding: ‘You can’t save anything.’
But Ms Saeed also criticised Chesterfield Borough Council for a ‘lack of support’, claiming that she was told to stay in her home as water crept up her stairs.
Aisha Saeed, 49, clears out destroyed belongings from her home in Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Ms Saeed’s house in Chesterfield, which she rents, has been devastated by flooding last Friday
Ms Saeed says the flood ‘totally wiped us out’ and she has lost precious family photographs
Showing a reporter around her devastated property yesterday, she said: ‘This is what’s left of my home. It totally wiped us out. I don’t know really what to say.
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‘What we’re doing at the moment is just clearing whatever was in the house. This is not my home, I privately rent so I do have to find somewhere else to live, but it’s just clearing out so he can bring his insurers in and do what he needs to do with the house.
‘Just trying to rescue anything that I can. I think 99 per cent of my things have gone anyway. All my photographs, all my personal stuff, my photographs of my kids, my photographers of my mother, they’ve all gone. Everything personal has gone.
‘And now it’s just, I don’t know, where do you start? When everything’s underwater, amazingly, you’re thinking ‘OK when the water goes, we’ll clean up’. What you don’t realise is what’s left when the water goes, and the mud and the silt and the smell is awful. It is totally destructive. You can’t save anything.’
Ms Saeed added that her neighbours were ‘absolutely devastated’ and were at a ‘total loss at the lack of support, a total loss at the lack of help that came’.
She continued: ‘If it wasn’t for the people on this road, the community on this road, helping each other out, I don’t know where half these people would be.
‘They would still be piled high in all their stuff, not knowing what to do.’
She added that council workers had cleared the house yesterday morning and did ‘an amazing job’, which she described as ‘backbreaking work’.
Damage caused to another house on the road in Chesterfield which faced severe flooding
Devastated rooms inside another flooded property on the same street in Chesterfield
A kitchen in another property on the same street in Chesterfield has been covered in mud
Damage caused to a garden on a property on the same street in Chesterfield, Derbyshire
More than 400 homes were evacuated in Chesterfield – with Ms Saeed’s road badly flooded
Damage to furniture inside another property on the same road in Chesterfield, Derbyshire
People remove items from a flood-hit property on the road in Chesterfield after Storm Babet
Items in homes on the road in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, have been destroyed by flooding
But Ms Saeed also said that apart from that, ‘there’s been nothing – absolutely nothing, nothing from the council – the lack of support has been appalling, it’s been ridiculous.’
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As Storm Babet hit, she was told by her sister-in-law, who lives next-door, to come home from work from her job at Sheffield City Council last Friday because residents on the street thought it was going to flood.
She then came home from work, rescued her guinea pigs and cats, and went upstairs and watched the water creep up.
Ms Saeed said: ‘It was really scary because every couple of minutes I would go to the top of the stairs to see how high it was getting.
‘I was counting the stairs to make sure it wasn’t getting any higher but I think it got half way up the stairs and then just stopped. We could breath a little then because we knew it had stopped.’
But she added that she was told to stay in her home as the water level increased.
She said: ‘Nobody could leave their homes because the water was getting higher and higher. Emergency services brought some boats but they didn’t work either we were just told to stay in our homes.
‘I spoke to my neighbours and thought the emergency services would come back and try and do something but I got told that we would be left to it – and that’s exactly what the council and everyone else have done.
‘They haven’t been much help and we haven’t really seen them.
‘But some council workers came with their trucks this morning as residents were supposed to take their belongings out of the house and take them to the top of the road so they could be collected.
The Environment Agency has issued 63 flood warnings and 87 flood alerts for England today
‘But the workers broke their backs to help us, they came into our homes to help us and cleared a lot of our furniture out.
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‘Nothing could have been saved because of the thick mud and sludge that has been left behind.’
Ms Saeed moved to the house with her 20-year-old son around a year and a half ago – and she already knew about the floods that affected the street in 2007.
However, she ‘never thought’ that it would flood again because she had been told the council had put up better flood defences up.
She said: ‘I never thought I would be affected by it. When you hear people talking about the 2007 flooding, they always say it wasn’t as bad as this. This happened so quickly.
‘They’ve now put flood defences up but we know it could potentially be flooded, but we didn’t think it would be to this degree or to this extent.
‘People have said it’s not as bad as 2007 but it’s actually worse than 2007..’
Ms Saeed said the water was about 5ft 7 inside the house and it was about 11ft high outside.
She added: ‘It’s visibly horrific – it’s muddy, smelly, dark, gloomy and wet. Water is absolutely unforgiving. Everything is ruined downstairs.’
MailOnline has contacted Chesterfield Borough Council and Derbyshire County Council for comment on Ms Saeed’s claims about a lack of help.
She lives on the same road where Maureen Gilbert, 83, died in her home during the storm on Saturday.
A view from the air of the River Axe at Axminster in Devon today which has burst its banks
Debris under the New Road Bridge across the River Severn in Worcester today after flooding
Southwell Racecourse in Nottinghamshire is flooded today after heavy rain from Storm Babet
Cars and lorries being driven through the flooded A1101 at Welney in Norfolk this morning
Extensive flooding in Worcester today as Worcester Racecourse remains underwater
She was found after officers, with colleagues from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service and East Midlands Ambulance Service, arrived at her property at about 10.35am.
READ MORE Police force refers itself to watchdog after pensioner, 83, drowned at her home – after officers had mounted emergency flood response
Derbyshire Constabulary said it has made a mandatory referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
The force added that inquiries are still ongoing into the circumstances of her death, but it had referred itself to the IOPC due to officers being involved with the evacuation of homes in the area on Friday.
Ms Gilbert’s family have been made aware of the referral and are being kept up to date with the investigation into her death, the force said.
Her neighbours previously described how five feet of water engulfed the inside of their properties ‘within minutes’ of the River Rother bursting its banks.
Ms Gilbert’s son, Paul Gilbert, told Sky News at the weekend that he had found his mother ‘floating in the water’ when he had gone to her home and forced a window open.
At least nine people are now thought to have died in incidents related to Storm Babet, while hundreds were forced to flee their homes in Scotland and England.
About 1,250 properties in England flooded during the storm, according to the Environment Agency.
A total of 13 areas broke their daily rainfall records for October last week, including sites in Suffolk, South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Wiltshire, Kincardineshire, North Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Northumberland, Derbyshire and Humberside, the Met Office said.
Marcela Farr, 40, was seen breaking down in tears as she returned to her home in the South Yorkshire village of Catcliffe on Monday to find it had been devastated by flooding
Marcela Farr had been evacuated by fire crews early on Saturday morning who rowed her to safety from her property in the village of Catcliffe near Rotherham amid major flooding
Ms Farr endured an emotional return to her home in Catcliffe on Monday, having just decorated it for Halloween for her seven-year-old daughter Maya before the flooding
Earlier this week, another video showed a single mother breaking down in tears as she returned to her home to find it had been devastated by flooding in the storm.
READ MORE Heartbreaking moment woman breaks down in tears upon returning to her flooded home amid Storm Babet chaos – as mother and daughter who were killed in M4 car crash are pictured
Marcela Farr, 40, was evacuated by fire crews early on Saturday morning who rowed her to safety from her property in the South Yorkshire village of Catcliffe.
Her house was among up to 250 properties evacuated in the area near Rotherham after water breached the River Rother and appeared to be up to 6ft (2m) deep.
Ms Farr endured an emotional return to her home on Monday, having just decorated it for Halloween for her seven-year-old daughter Maya before the flooding.
The mother found her sofa upturned and the radiator coming off the wall after 4ft (1.2m) of floodwater including sewage had swept through the ground floor.
Ms Farr told the Mirror: ‘Where is everybody to help us? Nobody is helping us, we’ve just been left on our own. I’m left without anything, just the clothes we were wearing.
‘Now I am going to live in fear every time it rains, I am not going to be able to sell the house. It’s going to be a nightmare from now on. Our insurance is going to sky high.
‘We are all very disappointed that we didn’t get any help. They are supposed to be there helping us, they didn’t even offer us a drink or anything, other locals did. It’s outrageous, we are fuming that we have been left on our own with children and nowhere to go.’
Ms Farr’s friend Wioleta Michalska has now started a GoFundMe page to raise funds for essentials they need such as food, clothes and toiletries as well as items for children and pets. It has already raised more than £1,000 and has a £5,000 target.
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