UK weather: Aerial photographs lay bare devastation caused by ‘biblical’ flooding

Parts of Britain suffered flood chaos today as a woman’s body was recovered from floodwater after drivers were stranded in their cars, train lines were blocked and people were forced to sleep in a shopping centre overnight.The woman was swept away by floodwater in Rowsley, Derbyshire, in the early hours before her body was found…

Parts of Britain suffered flood chaos today as a woman’s body was recovered from floodwater after drivers were stranded in their cars, train lines were blocked and people were forced to sleep in a shopping centre overnight.

The woman was swept away by floodwater in Rowsley, Derbyshire, in the early hours before her body was found in Darley Dale at 10.40am following what residents of South Yorkshire described as ‘almost biblical’ amounts of rain.

Aerial photographs showed devastating scenes in Doncaster, where residents were rescued from their homes as waist-high water filled the street. One local said water trickled along ‘like a shadow’ before covering the road.

Yorkshire and the Midlands were the worst affected areas, with six severe ‘danger to life’ warnings in place as fire crews were called in to help guide people to safety, while many rail and road users were warned against travelling.

Customers slept on benches while restaurant workers used their aprons as pillows at Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield, while firefighters used boats to rescue others stranded at the Parkgate mall in nearby Rotherham.

A major incident was declared in Sheffield as the Environment Agency issued 121 flood alerts and 117 more serious flood warnings for England today, with the risk not expected to pass for many areas for several days to come.

Staff at Meadowhall handed out free drinks and tried to arrange taxis to help customers – including families with babies – while others bought pyjamas from a Primark which opened late and a Starbucks gave out free cookies. 

Homes are submerged by rising flood water on Yarborough Terrace in Doncaster today as people had to be evacuated

A severe flood warning is in place for parts of Doncaster in South Yorkshire today as river levels continue to rise

Yorkshire and the Midlands were the worst affected areas by the flooding, with Doncaster particularly badly hit today

Residents on Yarborough Terrace in Doncaster were having to be rescued from their homes by boats today

Waist-high water filled the street of Yarborough Terrace in Doncaster today with a severe flood warning is in place

Jason Richards, 44, described how water slowly trickled along ‘like a shadow’ before eventually filling the street in Doncaster

A woman who has lived in her home on the street in Doncaster for more than 20 years, said: ‘I’ve never known it to be this bad’

Homes are submerged by rising flood water on Yarborough Terrace in Doncaster, South Yorkshire this afternoon

The Environment Agency repeated warnings for people to stay away from swollen rivers. Doncaster is pictured today

An elderly man is pictured being rescued from his home in Doncaster, Yorkshire, after roads turned to rivers due to heavy rain

Dinghies were used by the authorities to help stranded residents escape their homes with roads covered in water 

Another resident in Doncaster is lifted to safety after homes were flooded due to flash flooding overnight 

As it got dark in the Bentley suburb of Doncaster, officials were still working tirelessly to rescue residents from flooded homes

The operation to rescue people from their flooded homes in Doncaster continued after night fell this evening 

Through the night: A pitch black Doncaster suburb is pictured with officials still working to rescue people from their homes 

Flash flooding caused chaos at Manchester’s Victoria Station this evening with dozens of services delayed or cancelled 

People are ferried to safety through the floodwater this morning by firefighters in Rotherham, South Yorkshire

Sandbags arrive in a badly flooded area of Bentley, north of Doncaster, in South Yorkshire this afternoon

A woman is evacuated from her home in Doncaster today as the emergency services help the residents of South Yorkshire

A resident looks out at the floodwater at his doorstep in Bentley, north of Doncaster, in South Yorkshire this morning

Andrew Hall carries his six year-old daughter Lillie-Mai through floodwater in Doncaster (left), and firefighters provide provisions to an elderly woman in Rotherham (right) today

People and their dogs are taken to safety in boats in Doncaster today following severe flooding in South Yorkshire

Some 35 homes were evacuated in Mansfield after a mudslide at a quarry, while other areas were hit by traffic chaos amid road closures – with more of the same in this morning’s rush hour after a further deluge overnight.

Rail operator Northern has issued ‘do not travel’ advice for passengers using five lines – Sheffield to Gainsborough, Sheffield to Lincoln, Sheffield to Goole, Hebden Bridge to Rochdale, and Sheffield to Leeds via Moorthorpe. 

Northern warned disruption could continue into the weekend, while other train companies hit by the weather include CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, LNER, TransPennine Express, Transport for Wales and Virgin Trains. 

Residents of Toll Bar, near Doncaster, which was hit by flooding in 2007, have told how ‘almost biblical’ rain came pouring down. Parts of the village were still submerged this morning, with locals on ‘red alert’ for further flooding. 

Swineshaw in the Peak District saw 4.4in (112mm) of rain yesterday – the highest total in England – while flood-hit parts of Sheffield experienced 3.4in (85mm) during the same period. The November average there is 3.1in (79mm).

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: ‘Awful to see the terrible flooding across the North of England. Thank you to the emergency staff & volunteers helping families through this difficult time. Pls follow @metoffice for updates.’

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn added: ‘My thoughts are with all those affected by the floods in Sheffield, Rotherham and across the region. Thank you to the emergency services, council workers, the Environment Agency and volunteers who are working to help those whose homes have been flooded and those stranded.’ 

An emergency service worker stands on a flooded road in Rotherham today as he tries to help people in need of assistance

A young man feeds a child a bottle of milk as his father pulls an inflatable boat over floodwater in Doncaster this morning

A woman carries her dog through floodwater in Doncaster (left), while an abandoned car sits in Rotherham (right)

Rotherham train station is under water today as railway services across South Yorkshire are hit by the flooding and heavy rain

A Range Rover is driven out of flood waters after the River Don burst its banks today in Rotherham, South Yorkshire

An elderly woman is evacuated from a flooded house in the Bentley suburb of Doncaster in South Yorkshire today

Members of the fire and rescue service evacuate an elderly resident to dry land from a flooded house in Bentley, Doncaster

A woman sits in her wellies inside a flooded house in Doncaster today following flash flooding in South Yorkshire

Labour MP for Doncaster North, Ed Miliband, talks with residents on a flooded street in Doncaster today

Doncaster Council warned some people to leave their homes because the River Don is breaching its banks near St Oswald Church at Kirk Sandall, tweeting: ‘Residents in these areas are advised to evacuate immediately.’

Flooding brings transport disruption as train firm warns ‘do not travel’

Torrential rain has caused disruption on the transport network in parts of England, with train and road users urged against travelling on certain routes.

Several rail lines are blocked due to flooding, leaving thousands of commuters facing a struggle to get to work this morning, with Yorkshire and the North West particularly affected.

This includes lines from Sheffield to destinations such as Leeds via Moorthorpe, Lincoln, Doncaster and Goole.

Workers inspect flooded rail tracks at Rotherham station today

Trains are also unable to run on routes such as Manchester Piccadilly-Cleethorpes, Leeds-Doncaster and Hebden Bridge-Rochdale.

Rail replacement bus services are not being provided due to road closures and unsafe driving conditions.

Motorists have also been advised against driving through deep water.

Network Rail, which owns Britain’s rail infrastructure, said track inspections will take place ‘where possible’.

Rail firm Northern warned that disruption could continue into the weekend despite the weather improving in many areas.

A spokesman said: ‘We are still advising customers on several routes not to travel as flooding is making rail and road travel extremely difficult.

‘Colleagues at Network Rail are inspecting the tracks and working hard to return them to normal, but at present we have no estimate as to when we will be able to operate services on the affected routes.’

He added that Northern will ‘try to run as many services as possible’.

Other train companies hit by the weather include CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, LNER, Merseyrail, TransPennine Express, Transport for Wales and Chester, and Virgin Trains.

Workers inspect flooded rail tracks at Rotherham Central today

The downpours also caused disruption on roads as several routes were blocked and some vehicles were abandoned in floodwater.

Sheffield City Council said 14 of its roads were closed due to flooding as of 7am, and urged drivers to take extra care. Six of the roads were reopened by 8.20am.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: ‘If you encounter any floods be very conscious of not driving through water that is too deep as this could very easily lead to catastrophic damage.

Flood water covers the rail tracks at Rotherham Central station

‘Try to assess the depth by looking at the kerb or road signs and, if you decide it’s safe to go through, drive at a steady speed so as not to create a bow wave, and try to use the highest part of the road. If there is any doubt, then it’s probably best to turn around and take another route.’ 

AA spokesman Ben Sheridan said: ‘Heavy rain coupled with busy weekend traffic can make for some very challenging driving conditions. Drivers will need to take extra care and expect delays, even on motorways.

‘Driving conditions can quickly deteriorate during very heavy rainfall, with drains becoming swamped or blocked and standing water causing problems such as surface spray, reduced visibility and potentially leading to flooding.’

Residents on Yarborough Terrace in Doncaster were having to be rescued from their homes by boats as waist-high water filled the street. Police cars surrounded the area as rescue teams put down sandbags.

One woman was rescued from her home and carried through high water on a man’s back.

Another resident, 24-year-old Lacey Hanrahan, told how she and her baby had to be taken on a boat when water started coming into her home.

She said: ‘I live down the end where there’s a dip in the road, so we were one of the first to be affected. It got to the point where I wasn’t able to walk out, so I was taken out on the boat. I just can’t believe how deep the water has got.’

One woman, who has lived in her home on the street for more than 20 years, said the downstairs of her property had filled with water at around 7am today. ‘I’ve never known it to be this bad’, she said.

Another woman, who did not wish to be named, said she will have to house her daughter and grandchildren for the next few days as a result of the flooding. She said: ‘We’ve just taken the decision to get out of here as soon as possible – it’s dangerous as it is and it’ll only get worse.’

Jason Richards, 44, described how water slowly trickled down Yarborough Terrace ‘like a shadow’ before eventually filling the street.

The resident, who has lived on the road for around 20 years, told how he was caught in last night’s travel disruption as he returned home from Manchester, eventually arriving back to Doncaster in the early hours of today.

He said that, after going to bed, he discovered at around 9am that water was starting to surface outside his home.

‘I swept it up with the broom at first, but every time I brushed it away more water just kept on coming back,’ he said. ‘You often hear people say that the water piles up really quickly, but here it was more like a shadow, slowly making its way down the road.’

Mr Richards said that the inside of his property had not been affected and that he believes the water level has potentially plateaued.

Around 25 homes in Worksop were also evacuated due to the risk of flooding. Damien West, head of prevention and protection at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, tweeted: ‘In Worksop with Crews who are working tirelessly to rescue a large number of people from flooded premises. A very long, cold and hard working night.’

James Timpson, the chief executive of Timpson, the shoe repairs and key cutting high street firm, has said its shops in Worksop in Nottinghamshire, are under water following the heavy rain and will be closed until next week. 

Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said: ‘Some places have seen a month’s worth of rain in one day. The rain is easing and moving south but obviously the impact of that will continue to be felt.’ 

Although the Met Office has predicted the flooding rains will clear and move south-east by lunchtime, hundreds of people were kept inside Meadowhall overnight due to flooded roads and gridlocked traffic outside.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said they rescued more than 100 stranded people last night, with around 500 calls to its control room between 10pm and 4am.

Shopper Becky Laver told BBC Radio Sheffield: ‘No-one looks happy, everyone looks miserable. People are having to buy their own pyjamas and quilts because of how cold and wet they are from the rain.’ 

Jodie Whelan, 23, who works at the Disney store at Meadowhall, said staff were handing out free drinks and trying to arrange taxis. She got in for her shift by bus but said that getting back home was ‘an absolute no-go’.

She told the BBC: ‘The atmosphere is very weird but communal. Some people got a bit rowdy and it was upsetting seeing some older people and people with babies or children, but thankfully we are all warm and safe.’ 

Luke Turner, who works at a restaurant at the centre, said he could not drive home so went to bed in the stockroom where he could use ‘aprons’ as a pillow. He told the BBC: ‘I’ve got options, I could have got a taxi home.

‘But that still leaves me having to get a taxi back to work tomorrow. I had an offer from my higher management that if I could get a hotel room for the night… but unfortunately all the hotel rooms around me are full.’

Meadowhall, which also flooded in 2007, had to cancel its Christmas Live event at the last minute yesterday evening, but only after many of the thousands of people expected to attend had arrived.  

Rain is continuing to affect parts of Britain today, with temperatures unlikely to get into double figures in many areas

The Environment Agency has issued 121 flood alerts and 117 more serious flood warnings for England today

Rain will continue to affect parts of Britain this weekend with temperatures getting to a maximum of 11C in the South West

Fire and Rescue service members walk through flood water to rescue residents in Doncaster this afternoon

Residents carry sandbags in a flooded area of Bentley, north of Doncaster, as the area faces severe flooding today

Teenagers ride their bikes through floodwater in Doncaster today as some areas endured a month’s worth of rain in 24 hours

Sandbags are distributed to the residents in a flooded area of Bentley, north of Doncaster, in South Yorkshire today

Some 35 homes were evacuated in Mansfield after a mudslide at a quarry which fell into a homeowner’s garden yesterday

People carrying sandbags on Yarborough Terrace in Doncaster today as parts of England endured a month’s worth of rain

An emergency service worker stands at a flooded road in Rotherham today as the bad weather causes chaos

A driver stranded in his truck today is seen in the centre of Rotherham, South Yorkshire, following heavy rain overnight

Residents in Yarborough Terrace in Doncaster look at the floodwater today following a deluge of rain in South Yorkshire

A man carries sandbags on Yarborough Terrace in Doncaster today after parts of England endured a month’s worth of rain

Cars sit in floodwater in the centre of Rotherham, near Sheffield, this morning following heavy rainfall and severe flooding

While many of those inside managed to leave despite a partially flooded car park, some were forced to spend the night in the shopping centre, according to police.

‘How can it be business as usual when it looks like Venice?!’ Shoppers slam  Meadowhall for planning to open as normal today

Customers criticised Meadowhall for planning to open as normal this morning despite the shopping centre being surrounded by floodwater.

Hundreds of people were forced to say inside the mall in Sheffield overnight due to flooded roads and gridlocked traffic outside following severe rain in South Yorkshire.

But bosses told shoppers this morning that they planned to open as normal at 10am, as long as an amber warning – which is due to be lifted – has ceased by then.

Amy Drury tweeted: ‘You’re thinking more about money than people’s safety! It’s alright you opening but how are you expecting us to get in?’

Alice Barker added: ‘You’re not ‘open for business’ you’re open water! How can it be business as usual when it looks like Venice outside?!’

And Richard Vernon said: ‘Nice to see you’ve got your priorities straight… another reason I will always prefer to spend money in our city centre.’

Other shoppers slammed the mall for only cancelling its Christmas Live event at the last minute, which led to people becoming stranded as flooding worsened.

A Meadowhall spokesman said: Whilst the extreme weather conditions persist, the centre remains dry and secure.

‘We will continue to monitor the situation and providing the Environment Agency has lifted its amber warning as forecasted, the centre will open at its normal opening time of 10am.’

With many surrounding routes flooded and trams stopping short of the complex due to ‘heavy rain putting the Tinsley tram bridge at risk’, gridlock led to police advising shoppers and concert goers to stay in the building.

Saskia Hazelwood, 17, from Doncaster, told how she was among those stranded in Meadowhall. She said: ‘When we got to Meadowhall it was very hectic and we heard about the flooding and saw the river about to burst.

‘Our trains were then cancelled so we went to get food, then spoke to the police and security and they told us it was unsafe to leave and there was no way of getting in or out.

‘So we instantly started panicking and, when we found out there was no way of getting home, we went into Primark and all bought spare clothes and we bought food and drinks to keep us going throughout the night.

‘We were in M&S for a while on the sofas until they closed the store, and we were then moved to the Oasis food quarter. We were there until 7am.’

Saskia, a student, added: ‘We were provided with free refreshments throughout the night and morning but it was certainly not enough. We had to basically camp out in the food area until they finally got a taxi to us at 7am.

‘None of us had slept for over 24 hours. We were very tired, stressed and, of course, our families were panicking and kept keeping in touch.

‘My dad even tried driving to us around 11.30pm but, because the centre was gridlocked and also flooded and shut off, he wasn’t able to get to us and so he had to turn around and go home.

‘At the start we thought it would be fun, a nice sleepover, something to certainly remember, but after 14 hours of being stranded in Meadowhall we just couldn’t wait to get home, get into our own beds, feel safe again, and catch up on sleep.’

A Meadowhall spokesman confirmed that the shopping centre would open as normal at 10am today.

She said: ‘We anticipate that nearly 80,000 people visited Meadowhall yesterday and less than 30 customers remained in our building throughout the night.

‘They were supported by night staff, security and members of the Meadowhall management team who, where possible, helped them to either secure hotel accommodation nearby or arrange taxis home.

‘For those who were unable to get to their home safely or preferred to stay with us due to adverse weather conditions where they live, we looked after them by providing an array of blankets, coats and towels as well as a continuous supply of refreshments.’

Sheffield was particularly badly hit during flooding in summer 2007, which saw millions of pounds spend on prevention schemes.

Yet it was again hit by some of the most dramatic scenes yesterday, with a number of roads left impassable to traffic, cars stranded in floodwater and gridlock resulting on many routes. 

A dog is carried to safety in Doncaster today as parts of England endured a month’s worth of rain in 24 hours

A man looks at Chantry Bridge as it sits partially in floodwater this morning in Rotherham, South Yorkshire

Vehicles sit in floodwater in Rotherham this morning after the town in South Yorkshire experienced intense rainfall overnight

Emergency services at Kirk Sandall near Doncaster, Yorkshire, where the council ordered an evacuation this morning

The mudslide, pictured today, which has forced the evacuation of residents of Bank End Close in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire

The aftermath of the mudslide, pictured today, which has forced people to evacuate their homes in Mansfield

An abandoned car is pictured in a flooded car park in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, this morning

A member of the fire and rescue service wades through flood water as he escorts a JCB towing an truck in Rotherham today

A bed in the window of a shop stands in flood waters after the River Don burst its banks in Rotherham today

A couple wade through floodwater today in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, this morning after the River Don burst its banks

Rescuers help a woman get off an inflatable raft after ferrying her through floodwater in Rotherham this morning

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: ‘If you encounter any floods be very conscious of not driving through water that is too deep as this could very easily lead to catastrophic damage.

‘Try to assess the depth by looking at the kerb or road signs and, if you decide it’s safe to go through, drive at a steady speed so as not to create a bow wave, and try to use the highest part of the road. If there is any doubt, then it’s probably best to turn around and take another route.’

AA spokesman Ben Sheridan said: ‘Heavy rain coupled with busy weekend traffic can make for some very challenging driving conditions. Drivers will need to take extra care and expect delays, even on motorways.

‘Driving conditions can quickly deteriorate during very heavy rainfall, with drains becoming swamped or blocked and standing water causing problems such as surface spray, reduced visibility and potentially leading to flooding.’

People were forced to spend the night at Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield following severe flooding overnight

Sarina Ratcliffe-Jones tweeted this picture of a group of friends staying at Meadowhall having bought pyjamas from Primark

People are picture in sleeping bags overnight after the severe flooding surrounded Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield

Jo Aldred tweeted a thank you to Nandos at Meadowhall, saying the restaurant ‘fed my 15-year-old who made the journey for the light switch on and was stuck in Meadowhall last night without any money for a meal – I cannot thank you enough’

Chelsea Foster said she was ‘shocked’ to see swans swim up to the wall at the bottom of her garden from an overflowing River Witham in Lincoln.

‘I didn’t realise how high the water actually was until I went out and there was a group of them right next to my wall, they were that close I could touch them,’ the 23-year-old said.

‘Outside my wall we had a little island area where we could sit and feed the ducks, now you can’t even see it.’

The care assistant said she is scared her house will be flooded as the water is now not far from the top of the garden wall.

‘It’s awful. We have a little boy who’s just turned one as well which makes it even worse and he can’t play in the garden now in case any water comes through or the swans come over the wall,’ she added.

Cars stand in flood waters today next to a sign for the Frenchgate centre after the River Don burst its banks in Rotherham

A van stands in flood waters after the River Don burst its banks today in Rotherham, South Yorkshire

Caroline Hadley Smith and Shaila Rao walk their dogs as snow covers the hills of Glenshee in Aberdeenshire today

Checks take place in Kirk Sandall near Doncaster today, where the council told some people to ‘evacuate immediately’

A bridge with a sign welcoming visitors to Rotherham town centre this morning after floodwaters rose in South Yorkshire

A photo issued by Network Rail of flooded track at Kiveton in South Yorkshire as rail commuters face chaos this morning

South Yorkshire Police told of ‘significant issues’ in Doncaster, with Bentley, Toll Bar and Scawthorpe the worst affected areas. The River Don was badly hit, having flooded the Rotherham railway station and other areas.

Boy, 12, is forced to leave his bus on the way home from school and wade through ‘freezing’ water

A 12-year-old Sheffield schoolboy said he was forced to leave his bus on the way home from school today and wade through ‘freezing’ water.

After being told to leave school at 2pm due to the flooding, Daniel Harrison and some classmates had to walk after their bus could go no further on Beaverhill Road.

‘The water was up to my knees,’ Daniel said. ‘I had to get home straight away because the water was absolutely freezing.

‘The river had completely opened and all the water had flooded onto the road, it was terrible. You don’t want to be in that water but there was no choice – you had to go through it to get home.’

Daniel was speaking before catching a different bus on Friday morning to Handsworth Grange Community Sports College for a late 10am start.

As this morning, the Environment Agency had three severe ‘danger to life’ warnings in place relating to the river at Kirk Bramwith, South Bramwith and the Willow Bridge caravan site, all in Doncaster.

Northern Rail said it expected ‘severe disruption’ to its network, with services unable to run between Sheffield and Gainsborough Central or Lincoln Central.

Services have also been suspended between Sheffield and Leeds via Moorthorpe following the deluge. Police were also called to Parkgate in Rotherham last night after shoppers were trapped inside due to flood waters. 

South Yorkshire Police tweeted that they were working to move ‘a number of people’ who were stranded in the complex to ‘a place of safety’, with boats called into action to help those inside escape.

The highest rainfall in the country yesterday was recorded at Swineshaw in the Peak District, which had 112mm (4.4in) in the 24 hours to 2am.

‘There were a lot of other places that had 80mm or more, especially in Yorkshire,’ the Met Office said. 

‘The rains should clear by lunchtime, with a fine weekend ahead, but the flood warnings will stay in place for quite a while.’ 

Nottinghamshire Police said officers were called to Bank End Close in Mansfield alongside the fire service and Mansfield District Council just before 5pm yesterday following concerns for the safety of people living there. 

Superintendent Mat Healey, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: ‘A multi-agency response has been put in place to deal with this major incident affecting a large number of properties in Worksop and Mansfield and the wider impacts across the county.

A lorry drives through floodwater near Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield today after the flooding chaos last night

People walk past a car in floodwater in Rotherham today as South Yorkshire is hit by heavy rainfall and flooding

A sign shows cancelled trains at a station close to the Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield early this morning

Police activity near Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield today following the major incident declared in the city

Deer chasing each other through a frost and fog covered scene at Richmond Park in South West London today

Deer rutting in a frost covered landscape at Richmond Park in South West London early this morning

‘Thankfully, we understand the peak rainfall has now passed and river levels are expected to subside but this may take some time to be seen on the ground due to saturation, so the impacts are set to continue.’

Have you been affected by flooding? Email: mark.duell@mailonline.co.uk or pictures@mailonline.co.uk 

Some of the most dramatic scenes were in Sheffield and Rotherham where a number of roads were left impassable to traffic, with cars stranded in floodwater and gridlock resulting on many routes.

Houses were evacuated after becoming inundated in Whiston, near Rotherham. And in Sheffield, the council closed Millhouses Park, where a 14-year-old boy was swept to his death in the River Sheaf in the floods of 2007. 

Further north, concerns were growing in the Calder Valley as river levels began to rise on Thursday. Precautionary flood barriers were put in place in Mytholmroyd, which was badly hit in the 2015 Boxing Day floods.

Chris Wilding, flood duty manager at the Environment Agency, said: ‘Heavy rain could lead to surface water and river flooding across parts of northern England, particularly in parts of Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire. 

A police officer mans a roadblock near Meadowhall in Sheffield today after some people were forced to stay overnight

A car sits in floodwater near Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield today where people were forced to stay overnight

Firefighters rescue people in a boat from the Parkgate shopping centre in Rotherham last night following major flooding

Floodwater at Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield overnight which led to people being trapped inside

Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield was put on lockdown overnight after all the roads surrounding it were submerged

The now-overflowing River Don overnight, which is next to the Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield, South Yorkshire

‘Persistent showers may also bring localised river and surface water flooding to parts of southern England. Our incident rooms are open and we are working closely with local authorities and partners to reduce the risk of flooding.

Yorkshire residents reveal ‘almost biblical’ rain fell 

Residents in the village of Toll Bar near Doncaster, which was hit by severe flooding in June 2007, have told how ‘almost biblical’ rain came down on Thursday.

Post Office worker Kathleen Overton said: ‘It must have started at around 9am yesterday when I was taking my grandson to school, and then it just didn’t stop. At one point the water was coming right over my doorstep, and my daughters and I were worrying that it was going to come into the house.’

The 61-year-old added: ‘People’s cars were getting submerged in the water, gardens were ruined, you couldn’t drive anywhere. It was carnage.’

Another resident, Roy Kerr, 71, said that without the help of young volunteers who put down sandbags and pumped out water, the situation could have been even worse.

He said: ‘It wasn’t as bad as it was in 2007, but it easily could have been if it wasn’t for those lads.’

Another man, who has lived in Toll Bar for more than 20 years, told how water ran down through a rugby pitch, into a caravan sales yard and then into his front garden.

The resident, who did not wish to be named, said his kitchen had been ruined as a result of the deluge.

He added: ‘At one point I was stood out here in the front garden, with the water almost up to my knees – that’s how bad it was. The kitchen is completely wrecked now, it was filled with water. Thankfully the rest of the house is on a higher level, otherwise that would have been ravaged too.

‘The guy in the caravan park had to move 100 vehicles out of the way as the water came running down, so he’s going to have to get compensation for that.’

The rugby field was still submerged with water this morning.

‘Our field teams are ready to deploy temporary flood barriers to help protect people and property if needed. We advise people to stay away from swollen rivers and not to drive through flood water as just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car.’ 

PhD student Liz Churton, 58, has lost sentimental paintings, art equipment, books and furniture after her basement studio flooded in the space of an hour this morning from 9am.

Her property in the village of Whiston now looks like a ‘floating boathouse’ after water came rushing through the doors of her basement.

Ms Churton, who has lived in the house for around 15 years, said: ‘I was in the house making a cup of tea and got a phone call from the Environment Agency saying there is a flood alert.

‘I had an hour to move as much as I possibly could upstairs. I thought I would have more time but by 10am I was wading through and it was up to my knees.

‘The water came rushing through the basement doors which lead up to the garden. The flood boards kept it at bay for a time but gave in. The whole of my basement is flooded and I have a studio down there.  

‘It’s a couple of metres deep and the house looks like a boathouse. I’m currently looking out of my window at a very wide river moving very fast, it treacherous out there. 

‘The garden is one big lake at the moment. I’m not sure what has happened in the rest of the village because it’s cut off. I do feel very shocked and frightened. 

You do your best to save the things you don’t want to lose like paperwork, art equipment, my Apple laptop and iPad.

‘It gets to a point where you just need to let go of your belongings no matter the sentimental value and look after yourself.’

Ms Churton had put up flood boards to protect her property as a precaution following the flash floods locally in 2007.

The Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield is pictured overnight next to the River Don which is close to bursting its banks

Hundreds of people were kept inside Meadowhall Shopping centre near Sheffield due to gridlocked traffic outside

The Meadowhall centre cancelled its Christmas Live event last night which was expected to be attended by thousands

Nottinghamshire Police said officers were called to Bank End Close alongside the fire service following the mudslide

In Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, residents were evacuated from 35 homes following a mudslide caused by heavy rain last night

‘It’s not been as bad as this since 2007 – that was when the Uley Reservoir was about to burst its banks,’ she added. ‘Since then, the brook has been reclassified as a river.’

Elderly woman on a mobility scooter powers her way through floods 

The woman was not daunted by the floods in Sheffield

A hilarious video shows a fearless elderly woman on a mobility scooter power her way through a flooded street.

The woman refused to be daunted by the deluged road in Sheffield after the city was hit by flooding.

Onlookers can be heard gasping and laughing as the determined pensioner pushes on through the water, even as it splashes around her knees.

The incident happened yesterday in the Woodseats area of the city and was filmed by Stephanie Jubb, 25.

Ms Jubb, of Woodseats, posted the video on Facebook saying: ‘Not something you see every day at work.’ 

Key speeches from John McDonnell and Sajid Javid took place in Liverpool and Manchester, dodging the epicentre of the relentless downpours on the other side of the Pennines.

But a number of MPs took to social media to log their sodden campaigning efforts, remembering the election itself will take place in dark and wet December for the first time in almost a century.

Labour’s Andrew Gwynne said on Twitter: ‘Why does it always rain on me? The weather is against us in Audenshaw this morning, but the response is (thankfully) not!’

Another Labour candidate, Lilian Greenwood in Nottingham South, posted a picture of an ark with the comment: ‘Looks like we might be needing one of these for today’s campaigning! #Rain.’

Certain parts of north and north-west England could see nearly a month’s worth of rain. Meanwhile authorities in parts of northern Scotland had to bring out the snowploughs after they were hit by a sizeable snowfall.

Further south, homes and businesses could be flooded as prolonged rain pummelled areas around Hull, Middlesbrough, Lincoln and Scarborough. 

** Have you been affected by flooding? Please email your photographs to: pictures@mailonline.co.uk ** 

Families stranded at Meadowhall dine a TGI Friday’s tables and get into onesies and dressing gowns by 9pm

By CHARLES WALKER FOR MAILONLINE 

Evacuees marooned by floods at Sheffield’s Meadowhall shopping centre made the most of the ordeal, dining at the tables of TGI Friday and slipping into their onesies and dressing gowns by 9pm.

Primark was doing a roaring trade as the waters of the River Don rose in the early evening, eventually overwhelming its banks and the flood barrier, trapping shoppers inside.

People were advised by police to stay put as roads around the centre, including the M1 motorway, became gridlocked.

Staff in Giraffe were struggling to prepare for the early bird crowd as they mounted a cleaning operation with hardly any staff

Shoppers stocked up on pyjamas, all-in-ones and dressing gowns at the popular high street store as around 60 people bedded in for the night, unable to access public transport or move their cars because of flood water.

‘The whole of that area [onesies and pyjamas] was trashed this morning,’ said one Primark shop assistant, as she worked to put the shop back together for Friday trading.

Staff arriving for work at Meadowhall’s Oasis Dining Quarter, which acted as a holding area for stranded, suspected some had rather enjoyed the drama.

Their first job was to clear tables littered with cast off food wrappers, water bottles and survival blankets, which were issued to those caught out by one of Sheffield’s wettest days for 30 years.

‘I think some had fun,’ said Joanna Sobien, assistant manager at Frankie & Benny’s, where some of the stranded made camp. People got in their pyjamas while they were here. Primark was still open!

Shoppers stocked up on pyjamas, all-in-ones and dressing gowns as around 60 people bedded in for the night at Meadowhall

‘Shopping in ASDA after midnight in pyjamas because you need some milk for tomorrow is fair enough. But not here.’

Meanwhile, staff also had to get home. Two of the workers at Frankie & Benny’s walked all the way back to Rotherham, which is 10 miles away. It took them four hours.

However, it was undoubtedly a difficult night for some of those affected, which included families with young children and teenagers without their parents.

One Primark staff member said: ‘There were three teenagers, they looked about 14. They came in for some pyjamas. They were still here at 7.30am and looked absolutely knackered. They were waiting for taxis.’.

Those shoppers caught up in the drama left a load of work for the early shift in Meadowhall’s restaurants.

A few tables down, a cleaner was hard at work making TGI Fridays ready for business. ‘We came in this morning and it was a massive clean up,’ she said.

Major floods surround Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield overnight after heavy rain battered the country

Meanwhile, staff in Giraffe were struggling to prepare for the early bird crowd as they mounted a cleaning operation with hardly any staff, since colleagues were stuck in flooded parts of the city.

‘When I came in there was an absolute mess,’ said one staff member. ‘Those silver survival sheets were everywhere.’

Many workers were critical of the Meadowhall management for not cancelling the Christmas Live event earlier in the evening. It had swelled the ranks of customers, who turned up en masse and queued despite the awful weather.

‘Thankfully no one was hurt,’ said one restaurant supervisor. ‘People who came wanted to stay for the Christmas lights. They only cancelled it five minutes before and people had already travelled here.’

Overnight and into the morning centre staff and South Yorkshire Police tried to make their guests comfortable.

A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said: ‘We have had a few people who have remained overnight through transport issues. We have looked after them where we can with food or blankets.’

In some cases, the spokesman said, taxis were provided and even hotel accommodation.

Meadowhall last flooded in 2007, which resulted in the construction of a flood barrier, but videos posted on social media appeared to show water flowing freely over the defences.

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