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More rain forecast as cut-off villagers urged to leave their homes

The Environment Agency does not expect flood waters in Fishlake to start to go down for at least the next 24 hours.

Fire and rescue crews transport people through floodwater to other parts of Fishlake, Doncaster (Ben Birchall/PA)
Fire and rescue crews transport people through floodwater to other parts of Fishlake, Doncaster (Ben Birchall/PA)

By Dave Higgens and Dominica Sanda, PA

People who stayed in a flooded village cut off by river water have been urged to leave by a council as more rain is forecast across the UK.

Around half the 700 residents of Fishlake, near Doncaster, left the village as the River Don burst its banks last week.

Those who stayed behind have been helping themselves amid the waist-high floods, with the local cafe and pub supplying food to those trapped inside their homes.

But on Sunday – as Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “in awe” of the resilience of flood-hit communities – Doncaster Council said it will not be providing “on the ground support” in Fishlake as the advice remains for residents to evacuate.

Chief executive Damian Allen said: “We are concerned over reports that some residents remain in the Fishlake area.

“South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue crews are on hand to evacuate any Fishlake residents who may be stuck in their homes, and we would urge everybody to take advantage of this.

“The council are unable to offer on-the-ground support to residents who are in severe flood warning areas, based on advice from the Environment Agency.”

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A JCB transports people and their belongings through floodwater to other parts of Fishlake, Doncaster (Ben Birchall/PA)

Mr Allen said a rest centre had been set up in nearby Stainforth, and the latest advice is that the Environment Agency does not expect flood waters in Fishlake to start to go down for at least the next 24 hours.

The council’s statement came after villagers complained about a lack of support from the local authority.

The Army confirmed that specialist engineers from 170 Engineering Group were been called in on Sunday to provide advice in Bentley – a few miles upstream from Fishlake.

In a tweet, The Army also said a Chinook helicopter from the military’s Joint Helicopter Command “will soon be on task with aggregate used for strengthening the flood defences protecting homes”.

RAF Odiham posted pictures of the huge helicopters dropping aggregate bags north of Doncaster.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “in awe of the community’s spirit and resilience” following the flooding that has hit South Yorkshire and the  Midlands.

In a statement, he said the Government’s emergency Bellwin scheme had been activated to reimburse eligible councils for certain costs they incur.

It is the stories of volunteers, of neighbours and of friends often literally carrying each other through this time that I have found immensely uplifting Boris Johnson

Mr Johnson said: “On Friday, I visited Matlock in Derbyshire, where the flooding has caused devastation to people’s homes and livelihoods.

“I’m in awe of the community’s spirit and resilience in the face of this awful ongoing event.

“It is the same spirit seen in the affected areas across Yorkshire and the Midlands this past week.

“It is the stories of volunteers, of neighbours and of friends often literally carrying each other through this time that I have found immensely uplifting.”

The dispute in Fishlake heightened as the Met Office said on Sunday that more rain is expected to hit the UK overnight.

It has issued yellow weather warnings for heavy rain on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

All cover the South Yorkshire area and the crucial catchment area of the River Don, which remains high along its length.

Meteorologist Sophie Yeomans said a weather system moving across Europe will cause a “fair amount” of rainfall across England and Wales throughout the week.

“It is going to be an unsettled week in terms of rain,” she said.

The rain is forecast to reach Northern Ireland first on Sunday evening before hitting Wales and north-west England later in the night, and then spreading across the rest of the UK into Monday morning.

The warnings cover the same areas that are still dealing with the aftermath from Thursday and Friday’s downpours stretching from Yorkshire to Derbyshire and the East Midlands.

“Some catchments in the north are still sensitive at the moment,” Ms Yeomans said.

Several areas were deluged with one month’s worth of rain in a day, and a woman died after being swept up in floodwaters.

The body of Annie Hall, the former High Sheriff of Derbyshire, was found in the River Derwent on Friday morning after she was engulfed by floodwater in Darley Dale, near Matlock.

Mr Johnson visited Matlock on Friday while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn met flooded residents in Conisborough, South Yorkshire, on Saturday.

Seven severe “danger to life” flood warnings, all along the River Don in Yorkshire, remained in place on Sunday, according to the Environment Agency.

There were also 40 active flood warnings and 93 flood alerts.

Snow could fall in parts of Scotland on Sunday night and Wales could get a dusting later in the week, Ms Yeomans added.

The coldest night of autumn was recorded in Altnaharra in the Scottish Highlands on Saturday night, where the temperature dropped to minus 7.1C.

Northern Railway on Sunday warned people in South Yorkshire that some routes are likely to remain closed because of flooding until further notice.

The following routes are affected: Doncaster to Scunthorpe, Sheffield to Goole, Sheffield to Doncaster and Sheffield to Leeds via Moorthorpe.

PA

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