"It may well be the wettest I've ever been"
It was 1.20pm, had been raining through the night, all morning and into the afternoon, and showed no sign of abating.
Flood warnings had been issued across the borough and it was absolutely lashing it down.
First port of call was Rotherham Railway Station, which was closed due to flooding – though it looked pretty dry (lines are blocked between Sheffield and Lincoln due to flooding). – and a tweet by the operator advised travellers that a rail replacement was available at Meadowhall, which would run in both directions between Sheffield and Rotherham.
I took a few pictures and wandered down to the £4m canal barrier, which was opened almost a year ago and was certainly doing its job. All was calm and work was still going on at the site of the Forge Island development, where a multi-screen cinema and restaurants are due to open next year. Undoubtedly the flood defences were working at this traditionally vulnerable area.
By this point the water had saturated my coat and my trousers were stuck to me. Unlike the flood defences, my shoes had failed to keep the water out.
No matter, it’s all in the interests of research, so I soldiered on.
The water levels near the Chapel on the Bridge - about which this morning I had been writing a;feature on flooding over the ages -, were high and the steps beneath were flooded.
The Don looked close to bursting.
The interchange wasn’t too bad but there was plenty of standing water in the town centre, though, unlike the floods of November 2019, all businesses seemed to be open,
It may not be the case in other parts of the borough, but the centre, at this stage, seems to have survived with the new defences keeping the town safe.
My pictures don’t do it justice, but I’m back in the office now and almost sticking to my chair – it may well be the wettest I have ever been.
- Due to floods at Whiston Brook, buses are unable to service Whiston and the service will be diverted along East Bawtry Road and Pleasley Road in both directions.
The Tram Train is also suspended with multiple flood warnings in place along the River Don and River Rother.
Flood warnings have also been put in place for Whiston Brook and River Rother at Woodhouse Mill, with reports of localised flooding including in Wickersley, Todwick and Brookhouse.
At this moment, Rotherham United’s game against Ipswich Town is still due to take place at the New York Stadium tonight.
For the latest information, advice and updates on flooding visit http://rotherham.gov.uk/floods
Forecasters say rain will fall all day and is not expected to stop until 9am on Saturday.