England flooding: Cobra to meet over northern floods – BBC News

England flooding: Cobra to meet over northern floods – BBC News

Flooding in FishlakeImage copyright
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An evacuation has been ordered in Fishlake, South Yorkshire

The prime minister is to chair a meeting of the government’s emergency committee later in response to floods in northern England.

The Environment Agency has 30 flood warnings in place as well as five severe warnings on the River Don in South Yorkshire.

About 400 homes have been flooded and 1,200 properties evacuated.

A yellow warning for rain remains in place over parts of Yorkshire and the East Midlands for Tuesday and Thursday.

An emergency appeal to support “displaced” families has raised almost £50,000.

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Jeremy Corbyn met flood victims in South Yorkshire on Saturday

Hundreds of people in Fishlake, near Doncaster, have fled their homes after their village was submerged.

Empty coffins were seen floating inside the workshop of a flooded funeral parlour and some villagers had to spend the night at a nearby pub.

The council has called for people to evacuate the village, saying it “can only offer dedicated support to people who are not in an area where there is a threat to life”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will host a Cobra meeting later.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn previously urged the PM to “take personal charge” of the situation and convene the emergency response committee.

In a letter, Mr Corbyn said: “If this had happened in Surrey, not Yorkshire or the East Midlands, it seems far more likely that a national emergency would have been declared.”

The decision to hold a meeting about the response to flooding had been taken prior to the letter from Mr Corbyn, according to Number 10.

The flooding situation at the weekend had not reached the level where a national emergency could be officially declared.

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats have set out plans for a £5bn fund to improve flood defences across the UK, to be paid for through government borrowing.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited flood-hit Matlock on Friday

Four Environment Agency pumps are in Fishlake to remove floodwater from the village.

Joe Howslam, 23, told the BBC: “I live with my parents, brother and sister, but we’ve all had to move out.

“In the history of Fishlake it’s never been this bad, according to some of the older members of our village.

“I’m an HGV mechanic and we’ve run a family farm, so I borrowed a tractor on Saturday and helped rescue a few people. I even rescued my dad from the top window of the house.

“There’s about two feet of water downstairs, so the washing machine, dishwasher, etc. are all under water and ruined. We managed to get some things out of the living room but not all of it.”

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Media captionA Lincolnshire farmer cut off by floodwater talks about his frustrations

The local church is collecting food to distribute to residents and roast dinners were delivered on Sunday to those who had remained in their homes.

Tractors and boats have been used to get around the village, with many roads in the area under floodwater.

According to the Salvation Army, some people have been rescued from their homes by boat since the early hours of Saturday, but others remain in their properties, while military helicopters have been used to help boost flood defences in the area.

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RAF Odiham/MoD/Crown Copyright

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The Environment Agency called in an RAF Chinook late on Sunday

Twelve flood warnings remain in Lincolnshire where more than 1,000 acres have been flooded by Barlings Eau and some farms are cut off, with some train lines still blocked by high water.

Northern said its services into Rotherham Central were not running until further notice, with reduced services between Doncaster and Sheffield. CrossCountry’s trains are being diverted away from Doncaster.

Doncaster Council said a number of roads remained closed.

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Many parts of Fishlake remain under 3ft (1m) of water

The RSPCA has been involved in a rescue operation to save 60 swans following an oil spillage caused by flooding in Rotherham.

Further south, parts of Derbyshire are still affected by flooding.

Areas around Matlock – where former High Sherriff of Derbyshire Annie Hall was swept to her death by the flooded River Derwent – are continuing their clean-up efforts, with further rain over the weekend leaving standing water along a number of roads.

Have you been affected by the floods? Share your experiences by emailing [email protected].

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