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Weekend respite for flood-hit areas as communities feel impact of rainfall

Oli Claydon, from the Met Office, said to expect ‘a much better picture’ in terms of rainfall over the weekend.

Fishlake in South Yorkshire was one of the worst-hit areas (Richard McCarthy/PA)
Fishlake in South Yorkshire was one of the worst-hit areas (Richard McCarthy/PA)

By Henry Clare, PA

Heavy rainfall has continued to cause disruption but flood-hit communities are set to get some respite this weekend with drier conditions predicted.

There are 115 flood warnings in place covering much of England and parts of Wales following heavy rainfall on Thursday night.

The wet weather created travel disruption on Friday morning, with some rail services in Yorkshire and the Midlands being delayed or cancelled.

In Gloucester, one of the areas hit by heavy rainfall, video emerged of a bus attempting to make its way through a flooded road, with water entering the vehicle as it passed through.

But the Met Office is predicting better conditions over the weekend, with spokesman Oli Claydon saying: “In a nutshell, not fantastic, bright blue skies for the weekend, but in terms of rainfall it will be a much better picture.

“There will be a few showers knocking around, but nothing in terms of accumulations of rainfall like we’ve seen over the last week.”

He added: “Where we are at the moment in terms of much of the UK is that it’s fairly dry and cloudy with a few scattered showers around.

“However, that’s going to change later as we get a pulse of rain that’s going to be moving in from the South East later on into parts of Kent and Sussex.”

He said that wet weather will move north and westwards on Friday night, but only around 10mm to 20mm of rainfall is predicted in the South East.

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Soldiers have been helping out in Stainforth, near Doncaster, after flooding there (Danny Lawson/PA)

Mr Claydon said that there would be some rainfall in flood-affected areas on Friday and Saturday, but “nothing to be concerned about”.

A Met Office yellow weather warning for rain across much of the north of England on Thursday passed without a major incident in the flooded communities in South Yorkshire.

The weather service had a yellow warning in place on Friday morning for ice in parts of Northern Ireland.

Residents in those areas were warned of a “risk of icy roads” and were told to expect “some icy patches on some untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths”.

Flooding in Kirk Sandall, Doncaster, caused disruption to rail networks on Friday morning, with TransPennine Express services between Sheffield and Scunthorpe being suspended.

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(PA Graphics)

Northern services between Doncaster and Goole were unable to run, with trains between Doncaster and Scunthorpe running at a reduced speed.

CrossCountry also warned passengers that trains running from Nottingham to Derby are “expected to be closed” all day on Friday due to flooding.

The A63, which runs from Leeds to Hull, was closed on Thursday night in the rain but reopened on Friday.

The bad weather also meant that the Sheffield tram train service was unable to run due to flooding.

Deluged communities in Doncaster are still feeling the effects of this month’s deluge, with the Environment Agency (EA) explaining how machines have been pumping 2.5 tonnes of water per second out of the village of Fishlake.

Army soldiers from the Light Dragoons have been working since Wednesday to lay down sandbags and firm up flood defences in the area, and in neighbouring Stainforth.

The villages are two of the worst-hit in the floods, with some residents being forced to leave their homes.

The leaders of councils in Doncaster, Rotherham, Sheffield, Barnsley, Bassetlaw and Kirklees have written to Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick warning of “considerable and lasting damage” and urging more funding to help them cope with future flooding, the Guardian reported.

The paper said that about 1,800 homes and businesses in the north of England had been affected by flooding, with Doncaster Council saying that 970 homes and businesses in that area had been affected.

The council said that it has dealt with almost 2,000 calls from concerned residents since the wet weather started on November 7, and that 40,000 sandbags have so far been issued in the area.

On Friday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who came under criticism from locals in Doncaster for his response to the flooding, announced that households and business owners who had been “significantly affected” would have immediate relief on their council tax and business rates.

Under the measures, eligible households and businesses will receive relief on their council tax and business rates for at least the next three months.

On Friday morning, Martin Christmas from the EA warned that people had been trying to steal some of the pumps being used to help flooded homes in South Yorkshire.

He said: “A plea to anyone out there in the area who sees anyone suspicious, please get in touch with police.

“We don’t want this to hamper our recovery effort in the Doncaster area.”

PA

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