Reuters/Guardian News and Media/London
A woman has died after becoming submerged in floodwater as parts of England were deluged with a month’s worth of rain in a day. The woman was swept away in the early hours and the body was pulled from the River Derwent in Derbyshire at 10.40GMT.
Derbyshire Police said her family had been informed and formal identification was yet to take place.
The government issued more than 100 flood warnings yesterday, with residents in parts of northern England advised to evacuate their homes amid concern that lives were in danger.
Dozens were trapped in a shopping centre in the city of Sheffield overnight after becoming stranded and about 100 others were rescued from another mall nearby by firefighters in inflatable dinghies.
Harriet Fullen, 16, who travelled to the event from Lincoln by train with her friends, said they had queued all afternoon at Meadowhall for Christmas event, which was due to feature acts including Ella Henderson, Tom Zanetti and Jonas Blue, before being told at 5.20pm that it had been called off.
With many roads still blocked and trains and trams to the city cancelled, they were among 50-60 people who were forced to stay the night as water started coming into the shopping centre “from the lower level doors”.
“We had to go and buy our own blankets and pillows and food and drink to supply ourselves, not to mention the new outfits we had to buy due to how wet through ours were from the day,” she said.
The greatest concern was for homes in five areas around the River Don near the town of Doncaster where the authorities said persistent rain had caused severe flooding as water levels reached record highs and posed a danger to life.
“Residents in these areas are advised to evacuate immediately,” Doncaster Council said. “We advise people to seek shelter with family and friends. Rest centres have been established.”
While most of the serious flooding affected central and northern England, there were more than 100 other alerts across the country where the environment agency cautioned that flooding was possible.
The torrential rain also brought widespread travel disruption with some rail operators issuing a “Do not travel” advice to passengers in places around Sheffield and other affected areas while many roads were also closed.
“Awful to see the terrible flooding across the North of England,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Twitter. “Thank you to the emergency staff & volunteers helping families through this difficult time.”
Precautionary flood barriers have been put in place in Mytholmroyd, which was badly hit in the 2015 Boxing Day floods.
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