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UK weather: Public urged to stay away from swollen rivers amid extensive flooding | UK News

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

Some 110 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 is due to expire at 6am.

A delivery lorry was stuck in Leicestershire following torrential rain
Image:
A delivery lorry was stuck in Leicestershire following torrential rain

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 expires at 6am.

In Mansfield, 35 homes were evacuated as a precaution after a mudslide – and 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”.

The River Don has risen close to bursting next to a busy road. Pic: Hannah Crossley
Image:
The River Don has risen close to bursting next to a busy road. Pic: Hannah Crossley

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.”

A man with car in a flooded street Sheffield on Thursday
Image:
A man with car in a flooded street Sheffield on Thursday

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.

Two weather warnings are in place until 6am on Friday. Pic: Met Office
Image:
Two weather warnings are in place until 6am on Friday. Pic: Met Office

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.

A man attempts to cycles through a flooded street in Sheffield
Image:
A man attempts to cycles through a flooded street in Sheffield

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.”

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