'I had to swim to rescue stranded daughter' - readers share their memories ahead of South Yorkshire floods anniversary

It was the day South Yorkshire's roads became rivers, and its usually calm waters turned into destructive forces of nature.

Monday, 19th June 2017, 3:54 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th June 2017, 2:53 pm
Flooding on the Wicker in Sheffield

No one who experienced the devastating floods which left two people dead, hundreds homeless and caused an estimated £1 billion worth of damage will ever forget that day - June 25, 2007.

Ahead of the 10th anniversary this Sunday, we are running a week of features to commemorate the deluge, look at how businesses and residents bounced back and see what has been done to protect the area.

We want you to share your memories with us, and to kick off our coverage here are just some of the stories we've already heard.

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Numerous people told how they waded or even swam through the floodwater to get home.

Joanna Smith recalled how she had to swim under a railway bridge in Newhall Road, Brightside, where 68-year-old Peter Harding tragically drowned, to reach her five-year-old daughter who was stranded at school. She told how she was also one of many motorists whose cars were carried away in the raging torrents.

Vinny Marshall said he was on a number 20 bus at the bottom of the Wicker when water began gushing in and 'the driver literally told everyone to get off the bus and swim for your life'.

Meadowhall was badly affected, with the ground floor under two feet of water and around 100 shoppers stranded. It did not fully reopen for weeks afterwards.

Daniel Staniland said he was at the shopping centre that day and had to roll under the shutters to get out of a shop before wading through the waters until he was eventually offered a lift home by a passing driver.

Stranded workers were plucked from offices in the city by rescue helicopters. Simon Wainwright told how he had been rescued from the top of the Chamber of Commerce building, beside the River Don, with one of the flags from the roof wrapped around him.

Many people also paid tribute to Mr Harding and to 14-year-old Ryan Parry, from Gleadless, who was swept to his death in the raging waters of the River Sheaf as he made his way home from school.