Sheffield streets flooded in downpour ‘not caused by blocked drains’

A recycling bin swept over by flooding on Abbeydale Road
A recycling bin swept over by flooding on Abbeydale Road
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Flash flooding which struck Sheffield was not caused by blocked drains but a month’s worth of rain falling in just an hour, a Sheffield councillor has said.

A sudden storm and downpours left parts of the city, especially Nether Edge and Abbeydale Road, under large pools of standing water on Wednesday afternoon.

A cyclist splashes his way through flooded Abbeydale Road  as a couple of residents survey their water-logged gardens

A cyclist splashes his way through flooded Abbeydale Road as a couple of residents survey their water-logged gardens

May Rowley, owner of Handmade By Thelma’s in Nether Edge Road, said: “Every time a car drove past at any speed, the shops opposite us were hit with a wave of water which went into their premises, so it was quite bad.

“There was water running down from all directions that all collected in one corner – and it happened during rush hour. The drainage system couldn’t cope with that amount of rain in one go.

“All the water from other streets has ended up in that corner. It needs better drainage in that area.”

But Coun Jack Scott, cabinet member for roads and environment, said: “I wouldn’t say that the drains are blocked.

Torrential rain failed to dampen the spirits of these two friends

Torrential rain failed to dampen the spirits of these two friends

“Wednesday’s flooding was a freak event where a month’s rainfall came in just an hour and a half or so.

“Where we have that level of water falling on our city it will probably always overwhelm drain systems.

“We are going back to double check that the drains are clear but even if they are that water can’t disappear straight away, it takes time to drain away. Where drains are actually blocked, we know because it creates a big puddle of water.

“But today that water is all gone. We estimated about 800 gallons was going through one of the drains.

“Think how long 800 gallons would take to drain, there is not a force on earth that will make that amount drain quickly.

“We have replaced 1,500 gulleys since August 2012 and cleaned about 140,000 drains. If people know there are blocked drains, they need to tell us.”

Photos of motorists struggling through floods swept social media, with many blaming blocked drains. Star readers also reported flooding in Sharrow, Hunters Bar, Rotherham and Doncaster.

Nether Edge Coun Nikki Bond said: “Iwill talk to Amey about making sure that the drains are clear.

“I think ultimately it was a sudden deluge of rain. It would have been a miracle for there not to have been some localised flooding.

“Having had a dry September, it’s almost as if all the rain for the month fell in half an hour.

“I will talk to Streets Ahead about making sure gutters are clear and we will do what we can to make sure roads are as clear as possible.”