Coffins float in water at flooded funeral parlour after deluge hits swathes of England

Coffins floating inside a flooded funeral home in Fishlake, South Yorkshire (SWNS)

Coffins have been left floating in a flooded funeral parlour as large parts of England battle against a deluge of water.

The caskets were swept off their stands at a funeral home in the South Yorkshire village of Fishlake, one of the places worst-hit by the past few days of flooding.

The Environment Agency has issued more than 50 flood warnings across the country, and Yorkshire and the Midlands are expected to be battered by more rain on Monday.

About 400 homes have been flooded in Fishlake, near Doncaster, and about 1,200 properties have been evacuated.

The coffins were washed off their stands by floodwater in Fishlake, South Yorkshire (SWNS)

Dozens of people were forced to sleep in a shopping centre in Sheffield last week after the flooding hit.

A Yellow warning for rain issued by the Met Office remains in place over Yorkshire and the East Midlands on Monday. Heavy rain is also expected on Tuesday and Thursday.

A military helicopter worked through Sunday night to bolster defences in flood-hit South Yorkshire.

An RAF Chinook began ferrying bags of aggregate to flood banks in the Bentley area of Doncaster – close to an area of housing that was inundated by floodwater on Friday.

An RAF Chinook in Doncaster moving tonnes of aggregate to a cut off a spit of land to shore up flood defences (PA)
An RAF Chinook in Doncaster helps with the battle against the floods (PA)

The military intervention came at the request of the Environment Agency, which said on Twitter: “We’ve asked for military support to move aggregate to the #BentleyIngs area.

“This doesn’t represent a further risk. The aggregate is being used to add further strength to a #flood defence in the area.”

The air drops in the Doncaster area came as the Met Office issued fresh weather warnings for heavy rain in South Yorkshire and as people who stayed in a flooded village cut off by river water were urged to leave by the council.

About half the 700 residents of Fishlake, near Doncaster, left the village as the River Don burst its banks last week.

Those who stayed behind have been helping each other amid the waist-high floods, with the local cafe and pub supplying food to those trapped inside their homes.

Read more

Determined mobility scooter user spotted driving through floodwaters in Sheffield

Woman killed by floodwater named as hundreds are evacuated

Flood victim’s fears for disabled siblings after water destroys home

But on Sunday – as Boris Johnson praised the resilience of flood-hit communities – Doncaster Council said it would not be providing “on the ground support” in Fishlake, and send official advice remains for residents to evacuate.

Chief executive Damian Allen said: “We are concerned over reports that some residents remain in the Fishlake area.

“South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue crews are on hand to evacuate any Fishlake residents who may be stuck in their homes, and we would urge everybody to take advantage of this.

“The council are unable to offer on-the-ground support to residents who are in severe flood warning areas, based on advice from the Environment Agency.”

Mr Allen said a rest centre had been set up in nearby Stainforth, and the latest advice is that the Environment Agency does not expect floodwaters in Fishlake to start to go down for at least the next 24 hours.

The council’s statement came after villagers complained about a lack of support from the local authority.

Fire and rescue crews transport people through floodwater to other parts of Fishlake, Doncaster (PA/Getty)
Two people canoeing through floodwater in Fishlake, Doncaster (PA/Getty)

The prime minister said on Sunday that he was “in awe of the community’s spirit and resilience” and that the the government’s emergency Bellwin scheme had been activated to reimburse eligible councils for certain costs they incur.

Mr Johnson said: “On Friday, I visited Matlock in Derbyshire, where the flooding has caused devastation to people’s homes and livelihoods.

“I’m in awe of the community’s spirit and resilience in the face of this awful ongoing event.

“It is the same spirit seen in the affected areas across Yorkshire and the Midlands this past week.

“It is the stories of volunteers, of neighbours and of friends often literally carrying each other through this time that I have found immensely uplifting.”

Residents defy flood evacuation

The villagers who remain in Fishlake say they are helping each other, and have criticised Doncaster Council for leaving them stranded.

Many parts of the village remained under 3ft (1 metre) of water on Sunday after the nearby River Don burst over the top of the huge flood defences.

Those stranded in their homes were supplied with food by the village’s Hare & Hounds pub, and its landlords Angie and Scott Godfrey took to social media on Sunday to say they were "fuming" that Doncaster Council had not kept them supplied.

Addressing the council and local Labour parliamentary candidate Ed Miliband – who visited Fishlake on Saturday – they said on Facebook: "We have been inundated with calls, messages from people wanting a HOT MEAL. These people have no electricity & are living upstairs.

"We have the equipment to cook the lunches we just need the food.”

Claire Holling, who runs the Old Butchers cafe, said people spent Saturday night in the pub, with other seeking shelter and company in the church.

Speaking from the Old Butchers, she said the pub and her cafe have become the centre of a community pulling together to get through.

Fire and Rescue service members walk through flood water to rescue residents in Doncaster, Yorkshire (PA)

"I just managed to get here on the back of a tractor and I live in the village," she said.

"We've opened up and we're making sure everyone has bacon and sausage sandwiches and a warm settee to sit on. It's getting quite full in here now.

"Everyone's pulling together and making sure vulnerable people are being looked after."

Villager Dan Greenslade described how he is trying to get back to his flooded house after his girlfriend gave birth to their daughter on Friday.

Mr Greenslade said: "I know it's underwater. A neighbour sent some pictures of the outside of it. But that was yesterday and they say the waters are rising.

"We've just decorated it all and we moved in three weeks ago to get ready for the baby."

Mr Greenslade said his family are staying with his girlfriend's parents in a nearby village.

He added: "I'm in same clothes I was in on Thursday. Luckily, some friends have been round and fetched a second-hand Moses basket and loads of second-hand clothes and stuff. So the baby's okay. But all of her stuff is at our house.”

More rain on the way

Meanwhile, the Met Office has issued yellow weather warnings for heavy rain on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

All cover the South Yorkshire area and the crucial catchment area of the River Don, which remains high along its length.

The warnings cover the same areas that are still dealing with the aftermath from Thursday and Friday’s downpours, stretching from Yorkshire to Derbyshire and the East Midlands.

Picture: PA

Several areas were deluged with one month’s worth of rain in a day, and a woman died after being swept up in floodwaters.

The body of Annie Hall, the former High Sheriff of Derbyshire, was found in the River Derwent on Friday morning after she was engulfed by floodwater in Darley Dale, near Matlock.

Mr Johnson visited Matlock on Friday, while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn met flooded residents in Conisborough, South Yorkshire, on Saturday.

On Sunday evening the number of “danger to life” severe flood warnings was reduced from seven to five. All are along the River Don in Yorkshire.