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UK weather: Warnings in force as torrential rain floods parts of England

UK weather: Warnings in force as torrential rain floods parts of England

Published by May Norman at 7:03am 8th November 2019.

Severe flooding causes chaos across the county

  • Parts of Yorkshire and central England have been brought to a standstill - after half the rainfall for the whole of November came down in a few hours.
  • We seemed to have escaped the worst of it - however, one of the worst hit areas is Sheffield.
  • People were told to stay in the Meadowhall shopping centre in the city, to avoid flooded roads outside.
  • Three severe flood warnings - which carry a risk to life - have been issued for the River Don near Doncaster.

The Environment Agency is urging people to stay away from swollen rivers as torrential downpours continue to flood parts of northern England.

Some 119 flood warnings - meaning immediate action is required - are in place, most of them in Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire.

A Met Office amber warning for rain across parts of Yorkshire and the Midlands expired at 6am.

Residents in affected areas have been told that homes and businesses could flood, fast-flowing water could endanger lives, and some communities could be cut off.

A wider yellow weather warning, covering much of northern England, also expired at 6am.

In Mansfield, 35 homes were evacuated as a precaution after a mudslide, and in Sheffield a major incident was declared by city council.

At the Meadowhall Shopping Centre near Sheffield, hundreds of people were kept inside because of gridlocked traffic.

Hannah Crossley, who was at the centre, said she had watched water levels rise until they were "centimetres away from flooding over the wall".

Late last night, an Environment Agency spokesperson said:

"We are continuing to work closely with local authorities to reduce the risk of flooding.

"Our field teams have been ensuring flood defences can fully operate and deploying temporary flood barriers to help protect people and property.

"We advise people to stay away from swollen rivers and not to walk or drive through floodwater as just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car."

In Doncaster, South Yorkshire Police warned the public that the flooding was causing "significant issues", with the force telling locals not to drive or leave their properties unless it is necessary.

Northern Rail has issued "do not travel" advice for customers on several routes - with flooding closing lines between Sheffield and Gainsborough, Sheffield and Lincoln, and Hebden Bridge and Manchester Victoria.

According to the Met Office, half of the average rainfall for the whole of November fell in parts of the Midlands and Yorkshire on Thursday alone - with more rain overnight.

By 5pm on Thursday, Sheffield had seen 47.2mm of rainfall, while Emley Moor was hit by 40mm.

Rainfall could reach 100mm by this morning, according to forecaster Craig Snell.

Sky's North of England correspondent, Katerina Vittozzi, who is in Sheffield, said:

"The real concern is how long will the floodwater continue to rise even after the rain has stopped.

"The damage already has been quite significant - there are already a number of submerged cars, and some say their businesses are knee-deep in water.

"Residents who have been unable to get home have been sheltered in Sheffield Town Hall, and there are similar setups in other northern towns that have been affected."