DOZENS of homes have been evacuated following a mudslide while hundreds of Christmas shoppers have been left stranded in a shopping mall after flooding caused chaos across the country.
Residents on a road in Mansfield were evacuated just before 5pm today after part of a quarry collapsed following heavy rainfall.
Further north, hundreds of shoppers and concert-goers were left stranded inside the Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield.
Thousands had headed to the mall this afternoon for the annual Christmas Live event which was due to feature acts including Ella Henderson, Tom Zanetti, Jonas Blue.
But the show was called off at the last minute as torrential rain saw levels on the nearby River Don rise dramatically and several routes around the complex affected by flooding.
This evening, cops announced the area was completely gridlocked and began to turn trapped motorists back into the centre’s massive car parks.
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South Yorkshire Police’s Operational Support Unit then advised everyone in the centre not to leave.
The unit said on its Twitter feed: “Please avoid the area. Events at Meadowhall are CANCELLED. We advise only essential travel.”
The unit then added: “If you are in #Meadowhall, do not leave the shopping centre – await further updates.
“If you are travelling to collect people, do not attempt your journey. Await updates as we work to ensure safety of people in the immediate vicinity.”
The force said it had closed the nearby junction 34 of the M1 in both directions to “alleviate pressure”.
As torrential downpours hit, there were dramatic scenes across the UK:
- Thirty-five homes were evacuated as a precaution in Mansfield after a mudslide in the area
- Hundreds of Christmas shoppers were kept inside the Meadowhall shopping centre near Sheffield
- South Yorkshire Police said there were ‘significant issues’ in Doncaster
- A number of homes were evacuated in Worksop
- The Met Office’s amber weather warning for heavy rain covering parts of Yorkshire and the Midlands is in place until 6am
- A severe flood warning has been issued for the River Calder at Brearley and Luddenden Foot in West Yorkshire
Trapped shoppers and concert goers took to social media to describe how they were stuck inside the complex.
Other posted images of the high level of the River Don, which runs right next to the centre.
Meanwhile a number of homes have been evacuated in Worksop due to a major flooding risk.
A rest centre has been set up at Worksop Leisure Centre.
Dramatic pictures show homes in Sheffield underwater following heavy downpours.
The Met Office has issued an amber warning for heavy rain until 6am on Friday for an area between Sheffield, Manchester and Bradford.
It has also issued yellow warnings for surrounding regions as it said 40mm of rain had fallen in the Sheffield area between midnight and noon on Thursday.
Chester Police issued warnings about “severe flooding” on the Whitchurch Road.
Forecaster Craig Snell said it could be that the total hits 100mm by Friday morning.
He said driving conditions would continue to be challenging in West and South Yorkshire as well as across the Pennines and Manchester into Friday.
The rail firm Northern said that a number of routes, including the Todmorden-Rochdale cross-Pennine line, had been closed due to flooding.
Further north, concerns were growing in the Calder valley as river levels began to rise on Thursday.
Chris Wilding, flood duty manager at the Environment Agency, said: “Heavy rain could lead to surface water and river flooding across parts of northern England today and into tomorrow, particularly in parts of Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire.
“Persistent showers may also bring localised river and surface water flooding to parts of southern England today and tomorrow.
“Our incident rooms are open and we are working closely with local authorities and partners to reduce the risk of flooding.
“Our field teams are ready to deploy temporary flood barriers to help protect people and property if needed.
“We advise people to stay away from swollen rivers and not to drive through flood water as just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car.”
South Yorkshire Police issued alerts including one which said: “Please adjust your driving to suit the extreme conditions during the next 24 hours. We have more rain forecast and many roads have standing water which varies in depth, so please drive with caution and reduce speed to allow time to react.”
The Environment Agency has issued 25 flood warnings, mainly in the Yorkshire region, and 84 flood alerts.
Meanwhile residents are enduring heavy snow across Scotland with many roads impassable.
Authorities in parts of northern Scotland had to bring out the snow ploughs after they were hit by a sizeable snowfall.
Many commuters in and around the village of Tomintoul in the Scottish Highlands had to dig their cars out of snow drifts before setting off.
Elsewhere parts of North Wales, including Conwy and Wrexham, are subject to a separate yellow weather warning, with “heavy and persistent” rain falling throughout today.
Up to 70mm was predicted for north-facing hills within the warning area in Wales, while up to 30mm was expected elsewhere, the Met Office said.
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However London and South East England saw a “bright and clear day” today, with temperatures reaching 11C.
Rain hit the West Midlands earlier today but pushed northwards throughout the afternoon, ushering in drier weather this evening.
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Brits are being warned to wrap up warm – with frost likely in central and northern parts of the country.
Parts of Scotland are expected to see freezing temperatures overnight tonight.
Met Office weather spokesman Oli Claydon told The Sun Online: “It will be a chilly night, certainly. Wrap up warm.
“There will be a few scattered showers. Take a look at the weather to see if you are going to need a warm coat or a waterproof coat.”
This weather map for Thursday morning shows severe downpours stretching across much of England and North Wales[/caption]
The Met Office issued a series of yellow and amber weather warnings for rain on Thursday[/caption]