Homes flooded for more than a week November 16, 2019

The River Don near Stainforth on Monday November 11 with fields flooded towards FishlakeHomes in the lower Don Valley in South Yorkshire were hit by huge areas of devastating flooding when the River Don burst its banks after heavy rain on Thursday November 7.

Initially there were 7 Severe Flood Warnings, the most serious flood warning level which indicates a danger to life. These related to the lower stretches of the River Don between Doncaster and Thorne. The Severe level stayed in place for 5 of them until the following Tuesday evening (November 12), continuing then at the next highest Flood Warning level.

Stainforth Bridge on the road to FishlakeA flooded field at Kirk BramwithWater extends way beyond the River DonAmong the most seriously hit areas was the village of Fishlake. Some of the village is only a metre above sea level and many homes filled with water from the overflowing river which also blocked roads and turned fields into lakes. There had also been Severe Flood Warnings for parts of Bentley, the river at Kirk Bramwith, South Bramwith and the caravan site at  Willow Bridge, Doncaster.

Further heavy rain in the following week added to the water in the River Don and its tributaries, which collect water from across South Yorkshire. This delayed a drop in river levels, also hampering efforts to pump out flooded areas and making it impossible to properly inspect road bridges which had been closed.

This reservoir across the Peak Distrct moorland source of the River Don was full and overspillingSome of the heavy rain was near the source of the River Don in the Peak District above Dunford Bridge where, even before winter, a huge reservoir on the river was already full, causing the excess water from the moorland to overspill into the Don.

There were also other flooding problems along the river. Work done in Sheffield meant problems there were not as bad as some previous occasions when the Don has flooded. However, downstream, the river did begin to splash over flood defences into roads around the Meadowhall Shopping Centre, which had planned, but cancelled, a live music event to accompany its Christmas lights switch-on. Some shoppers stayed at the centre overnight as conditions deteriorated.

Rotherham Central station In Rotherham, the Rotherham Central station, next to the river, was left without trains and tram trains for a week. Trains were finally restored on Friday November 15 and the tram trains a day later after inspections of the recently installed tram-compatible overhead wires. Further railway flooding after rain disrupted train services normally operating to and through Kirk Sandall, east of Doncaster, on two occasions during the week.

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