FLOOD alerts were issued across South Yorkshire as persistent rain washes away the last dregs of summer.
About 60mm of rain - nearly the average monthly rainfall for September in Sheffield - was expected to fall yesterday and today, with gusts of wind at speeds of up to 40mph, as a ‘deep depression’ moved over the region.
Flood alerts were issued for the rivers Sheaf and Don, Blackburn Brook and the Porter Brook in Sheffield by the Environment Agency - as well as for the rivers Rother in Rotherham, Dearne in Mexborough and Doe Lea to Staveley, Derbyshire.
The rivers Rother at Tapton and Hipper at central Chesterfield, were also given flood warnings, where immediate action was required.
Stephen Davenport, forecaster for Meteo Group, said: “We are looking at a lot of rain over the next 48 hours.
“It is pretty persistent, we are looking at about 60mm or more falling in that time.
“I imagine there may be some surface flooding problems.
“Temperatures will be around 9C to 11C, so it is a nasty day today but the winds are coming down in speed.”
A sea of umbrellas filled the city centre as soggy workers and shoppers were dampened by the rainfall.
Parks and attractions, including the popular Cannon Hall Farm in Barnsley, were also quiet.
Mike West, who works in the farm office, said: “It has been quiet on the farm but the shops and tearoom have been busy, people must want to get out of the weather!”
Warnings also came from South Yorkshire Police, which urged motorists to drive on the M1 and M18 with their lights on as many had not, sparking fears of a collision.
Fife Street in Wincobank, Sheffield, was closed as the road flooded under a railway bridge, with water reaching 1m in depth,
Barnsley Council said it had activated its ‘emergency’ plan and staff were in attendance at known flooding hotspots. The Environment Agency is advising people to keep a ‘close eye’ on local weather forecasts and by issuing flood alerts, the first precautionary stage of its weather system, warned that flooding could be possible.
People are expected to need their wellies for a while longer, although showers and sunny spells will end the week.
Mr Davenport said the downpours are being caused by a ‘deep depression’ of pressure which should gradually move southwards.
He said: “It is an improving situation, Thursday is becoming dryer and it is unstable really going into the weekend.”
Check flood alerts at www.environment-agency.gov.uk
Call 0845 988 1188 to report flooding.