Torrential rain drowns out a flaming June in Sheffield

A sudden downpour in High Street
A sudden downpour in High Street

STREETS, shops and cellars flooded in Sheffield yesterday - as weather experts predicted torrential downpours and thunderstorms could make this South Yorkshire’s wettest June on record.

The River Sheaf, the Porter Brook and their tributaries, and the River Erewash in Derbyshire, were all on flood alert.

On Hanover Way, cars were almost at a standstill as water gathered near the top of West Street.

And South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service was called upon to give advice after properties in Sheffield flooded.

A cellar was swamped on Rock Street in Pitsmoor, and occupants of a property on Wilkinson Street in the city centre were advised to move their valuables to higher ground.

Alan Martin, who owns The Furniture Centre on Abbeydale Road, and Jim Abbott from Abbott’s Cookshop next door, had to brush three feet of flood water away from their shops to stop stock being ruined.

“The rain has been phenomenal,” he said. “If stock gets damaged that’s my livelihood so it’s a big worry when the weather gets like this. Vans create a wave when they drive past and splash everything. I’ve been mopping up most of the afternoon.”

After record-breaking rainfall in April, it’s looking like the history books could be rewritten again in June.

Paul Knightley from weather forecasters the Meteogroup said: “There have been poor Junes but this one has been particularly poor. It’s difficult to say as we don’t have the figures yet for the whole of June but it is looking quite likely. It’s certainly up there with some of the wettest.”

Mr Knightley said the rain levels in South Yorkshire were approaching those of 2007 when floods devastated the county. A total of 254.9mm of rain fell during June 2007 in Sheffield alone.

And he added there was a chance of local flash flooding because of more downpours today.

“It’s up there with 2007 but South Yorkshire has been a bit more lucky this time and there has been less flooding although other parts of the country have been hard hit.”

Flash flooding on June 11 this year left businesses in Hillsborough counting the cost of water damage after torrential rain fell at a rate of more than 30mm an hour.

Roads were turned into rivers and drains struggled to cope as the deluge flooded homes in Wadsley Lane and Athersley, Barnsley.

April was the wettest of any across England and Wales since reliable rainfall records began in 1766.

And, with just a few days to go, experts say 150mm of rain has already fallen across the UK - with the UK record standing at 157mm in 1860.

Meanwhile forecasters have predicted a mixed picture for the weekend with sunshine, showers and the chance of flash floods and thunderstorms.

The warm air, which has come up from Spain and Portugal over the last few days, will disappear as a new cooler front pushes in.

He said: “On Saturday we are looking at sunshine and scattered showers. “Over the weekend we are expecting a huge area of low pressure which isn’t going anywhere fast so the unstable air mass could mean further showers and possible thunderstorms.

“There will be some downpours but also some sunshine, so it’s not a complete washout but it’s not looking great either.”

Mr Knightly added: “It will be a bit cloudier on Sunday with some showers and some bright spells.

“Temperatures will be around 18 degrees on Saturday and a bit cooler at 16 or 17 on Sunday.”

Mr Knightly said the picture for next week was more promising.

He said: “We are expecting more high pressure next week so the temperatures could be creeping up a little bit higher and we could see some sunshine.”

Mr Knightly said it wasn’t time to put the barbecues away yet.

He told The Star: “Further into July we might see some warmer weather.”

Phil Younge, regional flood manager for the Environment Agency, said: “Yorkshire and the North East has experienced some severe weather over the last week, and with further rain forecast we would urge the public to remain vigilant and check local weather forecasts and the Environment Agency website for information.”