South Yorkshire flooding: Homes evacuated as rain causes travel chaos

People are being ferried to safety in Rotherham Image copyright Reuters
Image caption People are being taken to safety in boats in Rotherham

People are being evacuated from their homes and there is chaos on the roads and trains after torrential downpours flooded parts of northern England.

Five severe warnings – meaning a danger to life – are in place along the River Don in Doncaster with some residents being told to leave their homes.

Dozens of people slept on chairs and benches after being left stranded in a shopping centre in Sheffield overnight.

More than 100 flood warnings are in place across England

Fran Lowe, from the Environment Agency (EA), said urged people to take them seriously “as they represent a threat to life”.

“Respond immediately and get out of any place affected by a severe flood warning,” she said.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Vehicles are submerged in floodwater in the town

The north of England and the Midlands were hit by flooding chaos on Thursday night, with the highest rainfall recorded at Swineshaw in the Peak District, which had 112mm (4.4in) in 24 hours.

Parts of Sheffield experienced 85mm (3.4in) during the same period.

The average monthly rainfall total for Yorkshire at this time of year is 89mm (3.5in).

The five severe flood warnings have been issued for the following locations:

  • River Don at Barnby Dun
  • River Don at Kirk Bramwith
  • River Don at Kirk Sandall
  • River Don at South Bramwith
  • River Don at Willow Bridge Caravan Site
Image caption Rail lines around The New York Stadium in Rotherham are blocked due to flooding
Image copyright Lee Evans
Image caption Cars remain stranded at the Parkgate centre after an overnight evacuation

Most people left stranded overnight in Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield have now left after being forced to bed down overnight.

A spokesperson said about 30 people had stayed throughout the night, with staff helping others find a hotel or get a taxi home.

“We looked after them by providing an array of blankets, coats and towels as well as a continuous supply of refreshments,” he said.

Firefighters used boats to rescue people who were stranded in the Parkgate shopping centre in Rotherham, with dozens of them spending the night at the town hall.

Emma Cookson, who works at the Pets At Home store, was rescued but had to hitch a ride back on a boat to return earlier to check on the animals.

“There’s damage to the shop as the water’s inside but it’s just paddling really so the animals are perfectly fine,” she said.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said crews had rescued more than 100 people overnight, with about 500 calls to its control room between 22:00 and 04:00 GMT.

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Media captionBecky said people bought pyjamas from Primark to make their stay more comfortable
Image copyright Luke Turner
Image caption About 30 people stayed at Meadowhall shopping centre throughout the night

Meanwhile, a “major incident” has been declared in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, after dozens of homes were evacuated, along with properties in Mansfield.

Councillor Simon Greaves said Bassetlaw District Council had opened its leisure centre and some residents had to be taken there by boat.

The deluge is continuing to cause serious disruption to the transport network, with Northern warning of severe disruption across its network.

Several rail lines are blocked due to flooding, leaving thousands of commuters struggling to get to work.

Train operators are warning passengers not to travel on a number of routes through Yorkshire – particularly in the Sheffield area – and between Hebden Bridge and Rochdale in the North West.

Image copyright Lee Parkinson
Image caption Roads close to Meadowhall in Sheffield were flooded after hours of persistent rainfall

Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said although the rain was easing, the “impact of that will continue to be felt”.

“Some places have seen a month’s worth of rain in one day,” he said.

In Doncaster, the River Don has hit its highest recorded level, currently at just over 6.3m, higher than it was in 2007 when it also flooded.

The EA said a number of high volume pumps were being used to move water away from homes in Catcliffe in Rotherham.

Sheffield City Council said several major roads from Derbyshire to Sheffield remained closed.

Meadowhall said it would open as normal on Friday, although the interchange at the centre is closed.



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