Shoppers and staff stranded overnight in Meadowhall shopping centre due to floods

Shoppers and staff were stranded overnight in Meadowhall due to flooding in Sheffield.

Friday, 8th November 2019, 6:44 am
Updated Friday, 8th November 2019, 6:53 am

Hundreds of people were kept inside Meadowhall Shopping centre near Sheffield due to gridlocked traffic outside.

Police were also called to the Parkgate Shopping Park in Rotherham last night, amid reports shoppers were trapped inside due to flood waters.

South Yorkshire Police tweeted that they were working to move "a number of people" who were stranded in the complex to "a place of safety".

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There were reports some shoppers bought pyjamas from Primark and charged their phones at Carphone Warehouse during the night.

Thousands had headed to the Meadowhall shopping centre, just off the M1 near Sheffield, on Thursday 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.

On Thursday evening, police announced that the area was completely gridlocked and began to turn trapped motorists back into the centre's massive car parks.

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".

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.

Earlier, Stagecoach Supertram said it was no longer running tram services to Meadowhall Interchange due to concerns about a bridge taking track over the Don.

Meadowhall is the biggest shopping centre in the Yorkshire region.

It was flooded 12 years ago when the Don burst it banks, flooding large parts Sheffield.