Flood-hit communities warned of more rain

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The Independent Online

Flood warnings remained in force for parts of northern England today after torrential rain poured into homes and caused gridlock on the roads.

Yesterday's downpours in Sheffield and parts of Derbyshire closed roads and a railway line, trapping motorists and causing havoc for other commuters and the emergency services.

Several factory workers were also rescued in Dronfield, north Derbyshire, when floodwaters cut their building off.

Weather forecasters said part of the country would see more showers today, but nothing as bad as the previous day's deluges.

The Environment Agency had flood warnings in force today for areas near in the River Doe Lea in north Derbyshire. There were also widespread flood watches in place for areas running along the River Don.

Yesterday's scenes brought back memories of the summer floods which devastated Sheffield in June 2007.

But firefighters said the floods were due to the city's drainage system becoming inundated rather than the River Don breaking its banks as it did two years ago.

Torrential downpours, accompanied by thunder and lightning, hit Sheffield and surrounding areas late yesterday afternoon.

Sheffield Council said a number of major routes were affected including the main A61 route south out of the city, which was impassable, and the Penistone Road through the Hillsborough area, which was also badly affected.

A spokeswoman said council workers were preparing sandbags to help those buildings most seriously hit, including All Saints Catholic High School, in Granville Road, and Sheffield College's Old Castle College site.

Properties in the Swallownest, Aston, City Road, the Manor estate and the city centre, also saw up to eight inches of water, the fire service said.

A spokesman said: "We have had an enormous amount of calls. The situation is difficult but we are coping. It is certainly not as bad as last time."

The railway line between Chesterfield and Sheffield was also closed with services being diverted.

Tiffany Curnick, from MeteoGroup, the weather arm of the Press Association, said: "We are expecting more showers in the area today, but they won't be as heavy as yesterday.

"It will become drier throughout the evening."