Image copyright Reuters Image caption People are being taken to safety in boats in Rotherham People have been evacuated from their homes and there is chaos on the roads and trains after torrential downpours flooded parts of northern England.Six severe warnings – meaning a danger to life – are in place along the River Don…
People have been evacuated from their homes and there is chaos on the roads and trains after torrential downpours flooded parts of northern England.
Six 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), 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,” he 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.
More than 50 people have been rescued from static homes after a caravan site near Doncaster flooded.
Elderly and vulnerable people were among those led to safety from Willow Bridge Caravan Site after the River Don overtopped in the area.
Tim McNeil, who lives in Mexborough in Doncaster, said he was stranded on his flooded housing estate.
“Pretty much our plan for the day is get everything valuable off the ground and hope we don’t lose much,” he said.
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.
Meanwhile, residents in Rotherham have been told to stay at home and not leave unless asked to do so by the emergency services.
The council said the town centre, Whiston, Catcliffe and Laughton Common were the areas of greatest concern.
The EA said a number of high volume pumps were being used to move water away from homes in Catcliffe in Rotherham.
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.
The deluge is continuing to cause serious disruption to the transport network, with Northern warning of severe disruption across its network.
The rail operator issued “do not travel” advice for passengers using five lines on its network hit by floods.
The lines involved are between Sheffield and Gainsborough, Sheffield and Lincoln, Sheffield and Goole, Hebden Bridge and Rochdale, and the line from Sheffield to Leeds via Moorthorpe.
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 six severe flood warnings have been issued for the following locations:
- River Don at Barnby Dun
- River Don at Bentley
- River Don at Kirk Bramwith
- River Don at Kirk Sandall
- River Don at South Bramwith
- River Don at Willow Bridge Caravan Site
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.
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.
Sheffield City Council said several major roads from Derbyshire to Sheffield remained closed.
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.
In Derby, flood defences are being built on Exeter Bridge as the River Derwent continues to rise.