‘Disaster appeal’ to raise £50,000 for communities left stricken by floods
A ‘disaster appeal’ to help victims of the flooding in South Yorkshire has been set up with the aim of raising £50,000.
The emergency campaign, launched by South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation, aims to help people who have had to leave their houses and seen property ruined as floodwater has risen.
The deluge - caused when a month's rain fell in 24 hours from 3am on Thursday - has caused chaos and tragedy in the North.
In Derbyshire the county's former High Sheriff, Annie Hall, was killed when she was swept away by the River Derwent near Matlock. In South Yorkshire railway lines and roads have been submerged, homes have been evacuated and schools shut.
The River Don has hit its highest recorded level, even more swollen than it was during the disastrous floods of 2007. 'Danger to life’ warnings are in place on the river in and around Doncaster, where the village of Fishlake has been cut off.
Water levels are expected to go down over the next 24 hours, but more downpours are forecast in the coming days.
As of this afternoon the SYCF appeal had raised £46,725 towards its target. The charity is based near the Don itself close to Meadowhall, where shoppers were stranded on Thursday night amid relentless rain. Its office was affected by flooding and had to close until further notice on Friday when the appeal was launched.
The organisation said: “While the true extent of the damage of the floods is still being realised, disruption continues to schools, business, roads and public transport.
“South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation has launched the emergency appeal to raise funding to provide urgent support to those affected.
“This is the second flood appeal set up by SYCF. The last one was in 2007 in response to the devastating floods that affected the region at that time.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Derbyshire on Friday, where he said the flooding was ‘not looking like something we need to escalate to the level of a national emergency’.
However, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn struck a different tone in Conisbrough yesterday.
"Obviously we need much better flood management and prevention schemes," he said.
"It also means properly funding our fire and rescue services and properly funding our Environment Agency to deal with this.
"The Environment Agency has lost a fifth of its staff, the fire services have lost more than a fifth of their staff. They're struggling to cope with this."
One school, Kilnhurst Primary, has been so badly damaged by flooding that children are being sent to attend lessons elsewhere ‘for the forseeable future’.
Outdoor play equipment has been ruined, parents say, and major work is understood to be required to repair severe water damage inside.
See www.justgiving.com/campaign/syfloods for details of the appeal.