Sheffield holds the unfortunate accolade of “worst flood in the UK”. The flood occured in 1864 when the dam wall at Dale Dyke reservoir burst during some heavy rain . Sundari and Bhaktika’s cottage over looks this beautiful reservoir, and it hard to imagine how it killed 250 people.
There was a sense of deja vu on Tuesday when the Ulley reservoir near Sheffield and Rotherham formed a crack in the banking. 3 villages were evacuated and the M1 closed. If the banking gave way tonnes of water would sweep away the villages, part of the M1, and a power plant that supplies Sheffield and Rotherham. It would have caused major destruction and sever disruption for many months. Amazingly 40 firemen/women managed to pump enough water out to relieve the weight of water behind the bank so that engineers could repair the bank. It was a worrying 24 hours.
You can see on the bottom right-hand side water leaking out of the reservoir at the start of the crisis.
The cause of the crisis started on Monday when heavy rain fell across the region. Sheffield recieved a months worth of rain in 24 hours. We have had rain almost everyday throughout June, so there was nowhere for this water to go to. Two of the five rivers that go through Sheffield burst.
Even the large shopping centre, Meadowhall (locally known as Meadowhell) suffered. It was closed on Monday afternoon, and shoppers had to be airlifted to safety. It will be a few more days yet before it re-opens.
Sundari and Bhaktika’s house had water coming in through the ceilings, and up through the basement. Ray and I were much luckier and although the river a few minutes from our door burst it’s banks, we live up hill from it – i’ll never moan about the hill when i’m walking home ever again!
Amazingly only 2 people died in Sheffield, it could have been a lot more. Hospitals had a bad time with phone lines being down, and problems with oxygen supplies. Many families are still in emergency shelters, and some have only just had power returned to their homes. It’s going to cost the city a lot to clean up, and for many it will take months to get back to normal.