A MASS clean-up has been launched across South Yorkshire after flash floods caused havoc and sparked a deluge of calls for drain improvements.
Torrential rain fell at a rate of more than 30mm per hour on Sunday night, turning roads into rivers as drains struggled to cope.
Flooding was reported across the county and 12 homes were pumped out in Beeston Square, Athersley North, Barnsley.
In Sheffield, homes flooded on Wadsley Lane, Hillsborough, with residents describing the drains spurting water out ‘like fountains’.
On nearby Middlewood Road, business owners started their working days yesterday mopping up.
Gaynor Grant, who runs S&M Furnishings, opened her shop to find the entire ground floor under water, costing her thousands of pounds worth of damage to her stock.
“I couldn’t believe it - we flooded on St George’s Day last year and lost thousands and now it has happened again,” she said.
“The council came out cleaning the streets afterwards but it was too little too late - the drainage system just can’t cope and something desperately needs done.
“It is hard enough to run a business in this day and age without worrying about flooding every time we get heavy rain.”
Simon Brown, of Aladdin’s Cave Computers, saved his business by putting sandbags against the door.
His mum Lynda Howard said: “The rain was torrential and the drains just couldn’t cope.”
Paul Wilson, whose wife runs Hilary’s Bread and Confectionery Shop, criticised motorists.
He said: “The idiots who kept driving through caused a lot of the problems because every time they went past they caused waves of water - I think the police should have shut the road off sooner.”
Dorothy Littlewood, who runs a corner shop on Wadsley Lane, called on Sheffield Council and Yorkshire Water to improve the drainage and sewerage systems in the area.
She said: “Something has to be done - this has been going on for too long. The council needs to tackle root cause of the problem and sort out the entire draining system because it can’t cope.”
The floods came almost five years to the day South Yorkshire was hit by freak floods causing devastation to homes and businesses.
Nick Hetherington, head of Street Scene said: “Unfortunately this was one of those instances where the rain was so heavy, no drain or sewage system would have been able to cope with so much water in such a short time.”