'She was a ray of sunshine': Heartbroken family of 'beloved' grandmother swept into river in Storm Babet pay tribute

23 October 2023, 08:59 | Updated: 23 October 2023, 09:01

Wendy Taylor died in the floods
Wendy Taylor died in the floods. Picture: Police Scotland/Alamy

By Kit Heren

The family of a "kind, funny and caring" woman killed when she was swept into a river in Storm Babet has paid tribute.

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Wendy Taylor, 57, fell into the Water of Lee near Brechin in Angus, north-east Scotland on Thursday afternoon.

The storm was so heavy that Brechin in Angus was partially evacuated on Thursday, with 360 families told to leave their homes.

Severe weather has been linked to as many as eight other deaths in Scotland and England over the last few days.

Ms Taylor fell into the river at about 1.45pm on Thursday, and her body was recovered at about 4pm.

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 Taylor
Wendy Taylor. Picture: Police Scotland

"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."

Brechin was hit with heavy floods
Brechin was hit with heavy floods. Picture: Getty

There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding Ms Taylor's death, police said.

Read more: Scottish town evacuated, trains cancelled, and red alert for 70mph winds as Storm Babet batters Britain

Read more: Britain braces for Babet: Storm unleashes chaos in Ireland as Met Office 'danger to life' warning comes into force in UK

Waves crash over Stonehaven harbour on the east coast of Scotland
Waves caused by Storm Babet crash over Stonehaven harbour on the east coast of Scotland. Picture: Getty

Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf said Ms Taylor's death was "such sad news."

"My thoughts are with the family, friends and loved ones of the woman who has sadly lost her life," he added, before her name had been made public.

The Met Office issued a red ‘danger to life’ warning from 6pm today through to midday on Friday, which was later extended to Saturday at midnight, as 70mph gale force winds blasted parts of the country.

Other deaths linked to the weather included housebound Maureen Glibert, 83, who was found dead at her home in Chesterfield, Derbyshire on Saturday after Storm Babet flooded the area.

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Storm Babet. Picture: Alamy

Elsewhere, a 56-year-old man who was killed when a tree fell near Forfar on Thursday.

A man in his 60s was swept away by floods in Shropshire on Friday, and late that day a 19-year-old man was killed in a crash in Halifax. Two women were also killed after a pile-up on the M4 amid strong winds.

On Saturday two people were killed when their car came off a bridge near Skipton in North Yorkshire.

Travel was also disrupted by the storm, with several train services cancelled or delayed and roads closed. A plane also came off the runway when landing at Leeds-Bradford airport.

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