Jeremy Corbyn has been slammed for ‘politicising’ flood victims’ misery after he used the issue to criticise Boris Johnson.
Severe flooding has hit several areas in Yorkshire and the East Midlands with areas around the River Don near Doncaster worst affected after the river burst its banks.
With the UK just a month from the General Election, Labour was quick to try to seize on the impact of the floods as they battle to win seats in the north.
‘If this had happened in Surrey, not Yorkshire or the East Midlands, it seems far more likely that a national emergency would have been declared,’ Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn wrote, adding that he disagreed with the PM’s assessment at the weekend that the flooding was not a national emergency.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced he will chair a meeting of the Government’s emergency committee today – but Mr Corbyn said the meeting would have happened ‘five days ago’ if the flooding had been in the south.
Mr Corbyn’s critics have accused him of ‘politicising’ the issue in the run up to the election.
Twitter user Kimberly Hornsby tweeted: ‘The only national emergency is YOU!! Politicising the floods now, desperate man!’
Richard Ross added: ‘This is Jeremy Corbyn politicising these terrible floods. Disgraceful. These are local, very serious disasters but not national. Look up the word in the dictionary.’
Flood warnings are in place across the country today, with Yorkshire and the East Midlands the worst affected areas
Jeremy Corbyn attempted to make political capital out of the floods yesterday, saying Boris Johnson should have called a Cobra meeting earlier
Twitter users have criticised Jeremy Corbyn for politicising the floods in the middle of the election campaign
The Met Office published the above weather graph which shows the weather for the morning rush hour today across the country
The weather forecast for the next three days shows some sunshine for the south today and rain across the north of the country
An aerial view of houses and cars submerged under water following severe flooding on November 08 in Doncaster
The highest concentration of flood warnings is around Doncaster, South Yorkshire after the River Don burst its banks
The East Midlands and Lincolnshire are also affected, with warnings around Nottingham and south of Lincoln
In his letter to Mr Johnson, Mr Corbyn wrote: ‘We need full assurance from the Government that every resource is being utilised to aid those that need it and protect against future potential floods.
‘With dozens of flood warnings still in place, I have to disagree with your assessment from the weekend that this is not a national emergency.
‘If this had happened in Surrey, not Yorkshire or the East Midlands, it seems far more likely that a national emergency would have been declared. Every year we don’t act means higher flood waters, more homes ruined and more lives at risk due to climate change.’
A senior Tory source dismissed the idea that the PM had summoned Cobra following Mr Corbyn’s letter.
‘Cobra had already been put in motion. You only have to look at the scale of the government response to know this attack line is not true,’ the source said.
Up to 2.3 inches (60mm) of rain could fall on Thursday, meaning almost half a month’s rain could come down in one day.
Yellow weather warnings are in place for today and Thursday with some public transport services set to face disruption due to the wet weather.
The Environment Agency currently has 92 flood alerts in place, urging those in areas such as Tamworth and Warwickshire to be prepared.
There are 38 flood warnings in place urging residents in areas such as Doncaster to take immediate action. This is while there are five severe danger to life warnings in place for residents near the River Don at Bentley, the River Don at Fishlake, the River Don at Kirk Bramwith, River Don at South Bramwith and the River Don at Willow Bridge Caravan Site. All residents in Fishlake have been told to evacuate.
The Met Office said today will be cold with rain and showers for most people, with winds for many. Throughout the afternoon there will be some rain and showers. There will also be strong winds this morning for north Wales and Liverpool Bay.
Aerial photographs yesterday show the devastation caused by floods in a Yorkshire village as cars were swept away and homes were left knee deep in filthy water.
The shocking images show the cut off village of Fishlake, Doncaster, submerged after the River Don burst its banks following torrential downpours.
Fishlake, near Doncaster, was cut off by its worst flooding in living memory when the River Don burst its banks. Pictured: The village of Fishlake yesterday morning
Aerial images taken yesterday morning show the village submerged with gardens and fields vanishing under flood water
Yellow weather warnings are currently in place across the midlands (today, right and Thursday, left) as floods plagued some parts of the UK over the weekend
A frontal system will bring rain and hill snow for some areas across the UK which will seep into Wednesday
Around half of the 700 residents left their homes, and those that have stayed behind have been helping themselves, with the local cafe and pub supplying food to those trapped inside their properties.
Many said by the time flood warnings had been issued and sandbags handed out, it was already too late to save their properties, and they said they have been left with ‘no support’ on the ground from the local council.
Have you been hit by flooding?
Get in touch, email [email protected] or call 02036161762
Photographs emerged yesterday which showed the inside of homes completely submerged in the filthy river water, and cars left abandoned on the side of the road.
Last night an RAF Chinook ferried bags of aggregate on to flood banks in the Bentley area of Doncaster.
The air crew from RAF Odiham in Hook, Hampshire, has been working 200 miles away from base and moved 40 tonnes of aggregate in 10 shuttles overnight on Sunday to strengthen the banks of the River Don.
The military intervention came at the request of the Environment Agency, which said on Twitter: ‘We’ve asked for military support to move aggregate to the Bentley area.
‘This doesn’t represent a further risk. The aggregate is being used to add further strength to a flood defence in the area.’
Homeowner Andrew Benford, who lives in Fishlake, yesterday described his ‘heartbreak’ at seeing the family home he still shares with his mother submerged under 4ft of water.
Debris and sewage-filled water has devastated the bungalow Andrew has lived at since 1965.
The 55-year-old, who has lived at his bungalow since he was 18 months old, said he feels ‘abandoned’ by the authorities.
A local farmer is trying to arrange temporary accommodation for Andrew, while his elderly mother is staying with a friend.
Speaking yesterday Andrew said: ‘I’m devastated. I have lost everything. The council have abandoned us. They could have done more to prevent this.’
Builder Mark Sengelow, 47, woke up on Saturday morning to find his house filled with 2ft of water. He said: ‘It stinks. There’s debris and sewage in it. It was heartbreaking to see the house ruined.’
Defiant Josh Knaggs, 29, is one of many residents who has decided to stay put in the village amid fears of potential looting.
His wife and two children have gone to stay at his mother-in-law’s, but he has decided to stay at the Hare and Hounds pub in Fishlake village so he can keep an eye on his empty bungalow.
Devastated resident Pam Webb outside Truffle Lodge, her home in Fishlake, Doncaster as parts of England endured a month’s worth of rain in 24 hours
Josh said he felt many people did not want to leave their properties unattended and has gone back to his home twice to make sure it was secure.
He said: ‘People don’t want to leave their possessions. My bungalow is under at least 4ft of water, everything is gone.
‘I’ve been back to the house a couple of times and it is up to the kitchen unit.
‘It’s a prime target for thieves. People aren’t in their houses and they know people aren’t in their houses.
‘We’ve already lost everything and people are worried about valuable and sentimental items being stolen while they are away.
‘Scumbag’ criminals take advantage of severe flooding to break into abandoned cars
Shocking video shows how criminals are taking advantage of severe flooding to break into abandoned cars.
The clip films vehicles in a flooded road in Bolton-Upon Dearne, South Yorkshire, with windows smashed and doors wrenched open.
The footage was filmed by Micheal Hearne, as he drove along the submerged street, who said it was ‘unbelievable what level people drop too.’
Mr Hearne, from Sheffield, captioned the video as ‘Like something off a film’ adding: ’robbing abandoned cars and vans. Really.’
The video includes a black Vauxhall estate that has had its front side window and rear side window broken.
.The footage was filmed by Micheal Hearne, as he drove along the submerged street, who said it was ‘unbelievable what level people drop too’
The clip films vehicles in a flooded road in Bolton-Upon Dearne, South Yorkshire, with windows smashed and doors wrenched open
A black BMW with its rear window smashed in is also seen along with a van that has clearly had its rear doors forced and front windows shattered.
Karen Whapplington wrote under Michael’s post: ‘Oh my dear lord what complete and utter scumbags. I am shocked that there’s scum that would do this.’
Jason Blessed said: ‘What kind of area is it turning into. Sodding disgusting. Those poor b****s have it bad enough their cars a knackered.
Then some low life t**s do that.’
The video includes a black Vauxhall estate that has had its front side window and rear side window broken
A black BMW with its rear window smashed in is also seen along with a van that has clearly had its rear doors forced and front windows shattered
Bel Miles wrote: ‘They thought it was an episode of The Walking Dead and went to check for supplies. Tramps.’
Speaking today, Michael said he filmed the clip on Saturday following heavy rain the previous two days.
He said: ‘I just thought how could people drop that low to go waist deep in water and vandalise or rob stranded cars. Owners not turning up to recover their car. They are now vandalised.’
‘It was passable that morning as the water level had gone down from the night. It was all closed off yesterday for the recovery and cleaning up the road.’
South Yorkshire Police has been approached for comment.
More heavy rain is expected in parts of Yorkshire and the Midlands already suffering from flooding.
The Environment Agency has 44 flood warnings in place across the country, including five severe warnings on the River Don in South Yorkshire.
A yellow warning for rain remains in place over parts of Yorkshire and the East Midlands on Monday.
‘The police have sent more officers to the village, there were about 20 here last night, but they are on the outskirts, not on the streets where the houses are empty.’
Pam Webb, who runs the Truffle Lodge luxury Spa in Fishlake, said her family home and business has been devastated by the flood.
The ground floor of her property is completely submerged and a 10-acre field backing on to it has been turned into a lake.
She has hit out at the authorities for failing to properly communicate with residents and rescuers.
She said: ‘It is absolutely devastating and heartbreaking.
‘It’s my family home and business. I established it four years ago and built it up to what it is now and it’s gone overnight.
‘It is completely devastated. It is going to be 12-18 months at least to get back on my feet and I don’t think I could sustain that.
‘The fire crews that have been here from all over the country have been absolutely brilliant, but they have been left in the dark.
‘They didn’t know where the dykes were in this area, they didn’t have any local knowledge whatsoever. They were totally left in the dark.
‘Some of the fire crews who were rescuing people should have finished at 7am yesterday and they were still here at 11pm.
‘Devastating is an easy word to use but it’s completely devastating and it’s heart breaking.’
Doncaster Council has said people refusing to leave the village will not be helped, but Josh said people in the village intend to stay put.
He added: ‘A lot of people are elderly, some of them are in their 80s or 90s and they’re scared of going downstairs through the freezing cold water to get to the boats.
‘There’s an elderly man in the village who is receiving end of life care. They can’t get him out of the house.’
Residents in Fishlake have been clubbing together to provide hot food and drinking water for families who had been unwilling to leave their homes and farmers caring for livestock.
Louise Holling, who owns The Old Butchers cafe, said: ‘We’re giving out coffee and bacon sandwiches to everyone who wants them, but we’ve had no support at all from Doncaster Council.
‘My house is one of the few which wasn’t flooded. We’ve had 15 people staying. We can’t understand why the floods were so bad. There are people who have lived in the village for 90 years and they’ve never seen anything like it.’
Linda Bushell said she received a flood alert text message from the Environment Agency only after the water was in her house.
Mother-of-five Amy Grant, 27, said: ‘We’ve had donations from Sainsbury’s and McDonald’s but absolutely nothing from Doncaster Council. It’s terrible.’
A few miles upstream from Fishlake, in Bentley, specialist engineers from 170 Engineering Group were called in yesterday to offer advice, confirmed the Army.
In the nearby market town of Stainforth, residents were providing supplies and support to families who had abandoned their homes.
Doncaster Council insisted its staff had been working around the clock to help people affected by flooding, while an RAF Chinook helicopter had been drafted in to shore up flood defences.
Chief executive Damian Allen said: ‘The council is unable to offer on-the-ground support to residents who are in severe flood warning areas, based on advice from the Environment Agency.
‘We have set up a dedicated rest centre for all Fishlake residents in neighbouring Stainforth, where council officers are on hand to offer dedicated support, advice and guidance.’
Mr Allen said a rest centre had been set up in nearby Stainforth, and the latest advice is that the Environment Agency does not expect flood waters in Fishlake to start to go down for at least the next 24 hours.
The council’s statement yesterday came after villagers complained about a lack of support from the local authority.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was ‘in awe of the community’s spirit and resilience’ following the flooding that has hit South Yorkshire and the Midlands.
In a statement, he said the Government’s emergency Bellwin scheme had been activated to reimburse eligible councils for certain costs they incur.
Mr Johnson said: ‘On Friday, I visited Matlock in Derbyshire, where the flooding has caused devastation to people’s homes and livelihoods.
‘I’m in awe of the community’s spirit and resilience in the face of this awful ongoing event.
‘It is the same spirit seen in the affected areas across Yorkshire and the Midlands this past week.
‘It is the stories of volunteers, of neighbours and of friends often literally carrying each other through this time that I have found immensely uplifting.’
Several areas were deluged with one month’s worth of rain in a day, and a woman died after being swept up in floodwaters.
The body of Annie Hall, the former High Sheriff of Derbyshire, was found in the River Derwent on Friday morning after she was engulfed by floodwater in Darley Dale, near Matlock.
Derbyshire County Council has made £100,000 available to help residents and businesses affected by the recent flooding.
The county council has set up the Derbyshire Floods Hardship Fund for Residents and the Derbyshire Floods Business Hardship Fund.
Residents who were evacuated or whose homes flooded will be eligible to apply for a one-off payment of £104.
Mr Johnson visited Matlock on Friday while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn met flooded residents in Conisborough, South Yorkshire, on Saturday.
Have you been hit by flooding? Get in touch, email [email protected] or call 02036161762
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