‘Biblical’ rainfall leaves streets of Sheffield flooded

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Heavy rainfall has left the streets of Sheffield flooded and hundreds of people stranded in a shopping centre.

One contractor said the rain in South Yorkshire was “not far from biblical”.

The slipway on the M1 at junction 34 has been closed and shoppers in the Meadowhall centre have been advised by police not to leave.

Emergency contractors are working at “full capacity” to prevent further flooding with a “full emergency service” running across the city.

Heavy rain is forecast until 03:00 GMT.

Councillor Mark Jones said: “The rain is going to get worse again tonight.

“We have a full emergency service running and we are monitoring the situation as best we can but we are inundated.

“It’s all hands on deck, everything is being activated and mobilised but the fire service and council contractors are working at full capacity.”

South Yorkshire Police said the area around Meadowhall had been left gridlocked due to the flooding.

The shopping centre, just off the M1, was due to host the annual Christmas Live event on Thursday featuring acts including Ella Henderson, Tom Zanetti, Jonas Blue.

But the show was called off at the last minute amid a torrential downpour.

On Twitter, police said: “There is heavy flooding due to adverse weather conditions and closures are in place. Please avoid the area. Events at Meadowhall are cancelled. We advise only essential travel.”

It added: “If you are in Meadowhall, do not leave the shopping centre – await further updates.”

Darren Butt, of contractors Streets Ahead, said: “The situation is not far from biblical, it is very frustrating for the traveller but we are dealing with a big volume of water, it is very slow and frustrating.

“There are around 10 road closures, issues on the East Coast mainline and M1 motorway.

“We expect a similar intensity of rain until around 03:00am.”

The city is one of the worst-hit places in England with a number of roads left impassable to traffic, cars stranded in floodwater and many routes gridlocked.

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The council has closed Millhouses Park where a 14-year-old boy was swept to his death in the River Sheaf during the devastating floods in the city in 2007.

Elsewhere, heavy rainfall has also closed several roads in Leicestershire, while homes at Whiston near Rotherham have also been flooded.

The A1 northbound is closed between B6325 Great North Road (North Muskham) and A6075 Ashvale Road (Tuxford Junction, Tuxford) in Lincolnshire.

One lane of the M1 southbound has been closed between junction 40 near Ossett and 39 at Denby Dale.

Rail firm Northern has issued “do not travel” advice for passengers using three routes.

Flooding has closed the lines between Sheffield and Gainsborough, Sheffield and Lincoln and Hebden Bridge and Manchester Victoria.

Rotherham Central and Kiveton Park railway stations are also closed due to flooding and all lines between Todmorden and Rochdale are also blocked. Trains are also not stopping at Hadfield in Derbyshire.

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