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UK weather forecast: Hundreds of flood warnings still in force across England as country endures month's worth of rain

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 2019-11-08 Bronwen Weatherby
a person riding on the back of a bicycle © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited

Hundreds of flood warnings remain in place across England today as rain continues to pummel the country, with some posing a "danger to life".

A total of 125 red flood warnings and a further 118 amber flood alerts stretch from Sunderland in the north to the Isle of Wight in the south.

The flash flooding caused by torrential downpours is expected to spark more misery for commuters and residents.

Five 'severe' warnings are active and relate to towns and villages surrounding the River Don which are in immediate risk.

a close up of a map: The flood warning map showing hundreds of alerts still in place this morning (Environment Agency) © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited The flood warning map showing hundreds of alerts still in place this morning (Environment Agency)

The river in Doncaster burst its banks yesterday and will reach its highest recorded level today, forecasters predict.

Areas such as Barnby Dun, Kirk Bramwith, Kirk Sandall, South Bramwith and Willow Bridge Caravan Site will receive severe flooding.

Doncaster Council has warned some residents to evacuate their homes because the River Don is breaching its banks near St Oswald Church at Kirk Sandall.

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The council tweeted: “There is a Severe Flood Warning in place for Sandal Grove, Old Kirk Sandall.

“Residents in these areas are advised to evacuate immediately.”

Northern Rail said that, due to heavy flooding, there would be “severe disruption” to their network.

a person riding on the back of a bicycle: They said that services are currently unable to run between Sheffield and Gainsborough Central or Lincoln Central, and that services between Sheffield and Leeds via Moorthorpe were suspended until further notice. © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited They said that services are currently unable to run between Sheffield and Gainsborough Central or Lincoln Central, and that services between Sheffield and Leeds via Moorthorpe were suspended until further notice.

Train operators are warning passengers not to travel on a number of routes through Yorkshire and the North West.

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

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.

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."

a sign on a pole: Train operators say 'do not travel' as cancellations hit routes (PA) © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited Train operators say 'do not travel' as cancellations hit routes (PA)

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, TransPennine Express, Transport for Wales and Virgin Trains.

The downpours also caused mayhem 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

The rail operators' ‘do not travel’ advice for passengers still stands.

River Derwent in Derbyshire has also burst its banks causing people to evacuate homes and take refuge in a shopping centre.

Only 18 flood warnings have been deescalated in the last 24 hours.

When one months worth of rain fell in two days it wreaked havoc on areas of the country.

a bus that is parked on the side of a river: A lorry drives through floodwater near Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield (PA) © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited A lorry drives through floodwater near Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield (PA)

An Environment Agency (EA) rain gauge showed Swineshaw in the Peak District saw 4.4in of rain yesterday - the highest total of anywhere across England.

The average monthly rainfall total for the region at this time of year, is 3.5in.

Homes were evacuated and cars submerged in water were abandoned.

Thirty-five homes were cleared out as a precaution in Mansfield after a mudslide on Thursday night.

Last night, dozens of people became stranded in shopping centres in Sheffield and Nottinghamshire.

Police ordered shoppers, a number of which had travelled to Meadowhall Centre for a Christmas event, to stay put.

a view of a city at night: Submerged vehicles abandoned in the water (Lee Parkinso) © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited Submerged vehicles abandoned in the water (Lee Parkinso)

Pictures taken from those stuck in the centre emerged showing people and staff in makeshift beds in a communal area and stock room.

In a later statement, Meadowhall said: “Whilst the road networks have been severely affected by the floods, our centre remains dry and secure.

“The majority of customers left the building before the centre officially closed at 22.00 hours but there are a small number of people who have chosen to stay with us for the time being.

“We will continue to look after them until they can return home safely.”

Saskia Hazelwood, 17, from Doncaster, said she was among those stranded in Sheffield’s Meadowhall shopping centre.

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.

a bridge over a body of water: Flooding in Belper, Derbyshire, after the river Derwent bursts its banks (PA) © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited Flooding in Belper, Derbyshire, after the river Derwent bursts its banks (PA)

“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.”

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.”

Additional reporting by PA Media

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