RETRO: The Great Sheffield Floods of 2007

File picture by Lorne Campbell/Guzelian (2007)'Flooding in Toll Bar, South Yorkshire.''Cuts to BBC local radio may jeopardise emergency broadcasts in the event of a civil crisis, the Local Government Association warns today (22 December 2011). The LGA says proposals to share more programming and stop some medium wave services would threaten advice messages during emergencies like flooding.
File picture by Lorne Campbell/Guzelian (2007)'Flooding in Toll Bar, South Yorkshire.''Cuts to BBC local radio may jeopardise emergency broadcasts in the event of a civil crisis, the Local Government Association warns today (22 December 2011). The LGA says proposals to share more programming and stop some medium wave services would threaten advice messages during emergencies like flooding.
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It is one of the most devastating days in Sheffield’s history: the day the rain just didn’t stop: June 25, 2007.

Two people died, including a 13-year-old boy swept to his death in a river after his school bus was cancelled.

Floodpic: SHEFFIELD FLOODS  Struggling through the floods at The Wicker.   26 June 2007

Floodpic: SHEFFIELD FLOODS Struggling through the floods at The Wicker. 26 June 2007

In a special flood edition of The Star published on June 30 2007, it was reported that: “The Great Flood of 2007 will go down in history as one of the worst natural disasters this region has ever seen.

“The story of the Great Flood is one of the bravery, stoicism and never-say-die attitude of the people of Sheffield and South Yorkshire.

“The scale of the disaster is unprecedented and the local emergency services, councils and hospitals, helped by military personnel and volunteers, pulled together in a remarkable series of missions and rescues.”

The floods caused an estimated £1billion of damage.

Hillsborough floods

Hillsborough floods

A wave of water hit the Wicker, trapping scores of people inside their offices.

Workers had to be airlifted to safety in Brightside, and a number of shops at Meadowhall Shopping Centre suffered severe flood damage.

The entire ground floor of Meadowhall was submerged, with water lapping at the escalators. Several stores were closed for months .

And it wasn’t just the Wicker and Meadowhall.

Floodpic: The Deluge. Barrow Road,Wincobank

Floodpic: The Deluge. Barrow Road,Wincobank

So much of the area was swamped by flood waters.

Doncaster was hard hit in the deluge.

The River Don burst its banks, submerging much of the Don Valley.

There were similar scenes in Rotherham, where entire housing estates were inundated with flood waters.

Sheffield Floods'  the Wicker

Sheffield Floods' the Wicker

Catcliffe, Wath, and Wombwell were left battling waters which in some cases was almost as high as streetlights.

The M1 was closed, as flood waters threatened to burst on to the carriageway, while in Mexborough, trains were cancelled as tracks were submerged.

The streets of Chapeltown became rivers, with cars stranded in the high waters.

Without doubt, the most tragic story was that of 13-year-old Ryan Parry.

The teenager fell into a swollen river when he took a shortcut through Millhouses Park.

Ryan would normally have taken the bus three miles to his home in Gleadless.

Aeriel view of the village of Catcliffe near Sheffield which is under water after two days of heavy rain which caused floods in Yorkshire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 26, 2007.

Aeriel view of the village of Catcliffe near Sheffield which is under water after two days of heavy rain which caused floods in Yorkshire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 26, 2007.

But his King Ecgbert School bus was scrapped in the downpours, and Ryan was swept away in the 20mph torrents of the flooded River Sheaf.

Of course, it is not the first time Sheffield has flooded.

On March 11 1864, The Great Sheffield Flood swept through the city after the Dale Dyke Dam broke, killing at least 240 people and damaging or destroying more than 600 houses.

In the inquests that followed, popular opinion and media reports suggested that a fault in the construction process at he dam had been the cause of the tragedy.

The courts blamed the design and construction of the dam, and the government was forced to set up an arbitration panel to judge on claims for loss of life and loss of property.

The 650 claims totalled £455,000, estimated to be at least £39million in today’s money.

In 2014, Sheffield Council announced £56million of flood defence plans which should reduce the risk of 2007 or 1864 style events ever happening again, including boosted embankments and dredging rivers.

But whatever happens in future, it is clear that the people of Sheffield and South Yorkshire will pull together.

As That Star reported in 2007: “The spirit of South Yorkshire is undimished and shines through.

“Much needs to be done to rebuild, but the will to overcome this is there for all to see.”

picsrh: The deluge. Firefighters rescue OAP's from Ecclesfield'rose ford

picsrh: The deluge. Firefighters rescue OAP's from Ecclesfield'rose ford

Floodpic: Flooded Meadowhall Centre.

Floodpic: Flooded Meadowhall Centre.

Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough's football ground four feet under water after overnight floods in Yorkshire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 26, 2007. Floods have affected many areas of Britain following torrential rain. A 28-year-old man died after becoming trapped in a drain near Hull. See PA story WEATHER Floods. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough's football ground four feet under water after overnight floods in Yorkshire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday June 26, 2007. Floods have affected many areas of Britain following torrential rain. A 28-year-old man died after becoming trapped in a drain near Hull. See PA story WEATHER Floods. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire