South Yorkshire flooding: Homes evacuated as rain cause travel chaos

River Don at Rotherham

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There are five severe weather warnings along the River Don

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.

A major incident was declared in Sheffield, leaving dozens of people stranded in a shopping centre.

More than 100 flood warnings are in place across England

The Environment Agency (EA) has urged people to take them seriously.

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).

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Lee Evans

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Cars remain stranded at the Parkgate centre in Rotherham after an overnight evacuation

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

Elsewhere, in Rotherham firefighters rescued people by boat who were stranded in the Parkgate centre.

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.

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South Yorkshire Police

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The fire service were called to pull people at the Parkgate centre to safety

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Lee Parkinson

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Roads close to Meadowhall in Sheffield were flooded after hours of persistent rainfall

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.

Fran Lowe, from the EA, said: “Pay attention to our flood warnings and alerts, take these warnings very seriously as they represent a threat to life.

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

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Luke Turner

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Some shops at Meadowhall stayed open late while Carphone Warehouse reportedly let people charge their phones

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Media captionBecky said people bought pyjamas from Primark to make their stay more comfortable

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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