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700 villagers told to evacuate as new danger to life flood warning issued

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All of the 700 residents in a small village in South Yorkshire have been told to evacuate their homes, as a seventh danger to life flood warning was issued this morning.

The latest warning was declared in the village of Fishlake, just north of Doncaster, after “biblical” rain saw the River Don burst its banks in the area.

It came hours before Robert Jenrick announced that the Government is triggering its emergency Bellwin scheme to fund the cost of tackling floods in Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

Under the initiative, councils who have to pay for items such as temporary accommodation and staff overtime in response to the floods, are eligible to have the full costs reimbursed by the government.

Villagers in the Trundle Lane area of Fishlake have been told to evacuate by the emergency services as roads and houses have been submerged under water.

For those who do not have the houses of family or friends to stay in , the Salvation Army centre at Lakeside is offering temporary accommodation until it is deemed safe to return home.

Captain Alan Bawden, the Doncaster Salvation Army leader, said: “We have been on standby since 7 am this morning and are prepared to support our community if they are evacuated from their homes. Initially, we will be providing hot drinks and snacks. However, we are also working with the council to provide overnight sleeping arrangements at the hall should it be required.”

River levels in the village, of around 200 properties, have exceeded the highest recorded level twice in less than two weeks and was this morning recorded at 6.86m high – more than double its usual height.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue service has two boats operating in the area to help people flee to safety.

A spokesman for Doncaster Council said: “Due to the rate of rising water in the Trundle Lane area, a decision has been made to issue a severe flood warning in Fishlake. Residents in the area are advised to evacuate their property and are being supported to do so.”

Derbyshire and South Yorkshire have been worst hit by the floods, which yesterday claimed the life of one woman who was swept away in the Derwent river at Rowsley, near Matlock.

Speaking on a visit to Matlock, Boris Johnson said that major flooding across swathes of northern England was not a “national emergency”.

The Prime Minister said: “the government had set aside billions for flood defences and preparations due to an increase in serious flooding “perhaps because of building, almost certainly because of climate change”.

Professor Hannah Cloke, a hydrologist at the University of Reading, said the floods had been caused by a ‘storm factory’ over the Atlantic bringing torrential rain.

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