Storm blamed for elderly woman's death

Updated:

ALPHARETTA, Ga.,None —

An 83-year-old woman was found dead in a creek Saturday after she apparently climbed into a drain pipe, trying to protect herself from Friday night's storm, Alpharetta police said.

The family of the victim, Patricia Barnett, reported her missing Friday night at the height of the storm.  Search crews found the elderly woman's body early Saturday along the banks of a creek hundreds of yards from her home.

Channel 2's Aaron Diamant spoke to Alpharetta police officials, who said Barnett might have climbed into a drain pipe a few feet away from her home out of fear of the storm. 

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Police believe she was overcome by the force of rising water  inside of the pipe, and steep banks along the creek restricted her from getting out, Diamant said.

The situation has left Barnette family stunned.

"She was like part of our family.  I can't imagine what they're going through right now," a neighbor, Afraz Talebi told Diamant.

Barnett's family said they do not know why she left the home and that they are devastated by her loss.