Pat Meadows from Tickhill, South Yorkshire is braced for more flooding (Image: Glen Minikin)
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Worried residents started barricading their homes tonight as Storm Christoph barrelled into the UK.
Forecasters warned of “danger to life” and that torrential rain could bring widespread flooding, with Yorkshire and the East Mid-lands expected to be worst-hit.
Fifteen flood warnings are in place in parts of Merseyside, Yorkshire, Leicestershire, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.
A further 132 flood alerts have also been issued for large parts of the East Midlands, northern England and East Anglia.
Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones, declared a major incident and warned locals to be prepare.
Some moved their belongings upstairs and boarded up their doors as rivers bulged.
They feared a “terrifying” repeat of the deluge in November 2019.
In Fishlake, council JCBs and lorries delivered 20 sandbags to each home while volunteers helped OAPs to prepare.
Pam Webb is obsessively watching the river level
(Image: Glen Minikin)
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Spa owner Pam Webb, whose home and business flooded in 2019, said: “Watching river levels has become an obsession. Everybody feels anxious but we try to stay positive.
"If you’ve never been flooded you will never understand the pain it causes, financially, physically and mentally.”
Retired health service worker Tom Sharpe, 61, said he was using “everything I can get my hands on” to prepare: “It’s so stressful. Last time we ended up under 3ft of water and I was out of my home for 10 months.”
Pam's home was hit by flooding in 2019
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Ann Booth, 37, only moved back into her flood-hit home in August after living on a caravan in her drive in Bentley.
She said: “I’m scared and feel I’m in a dream. I can’t believe this could happen again.
"Morale is a bit down but we will pull together again.”
Other flood victims have yet to move back in their homes.
Paul Causey, 59, a retired prison officer from Stainforth, is still living with friends due to delays with house repairs.
He said: “We’ve even still got some of the sandbags from last time.”
Paul Causey is still living with friends after being flooded in 2019
(Image: Glen Minikin)
Pat Meadows, 68, from Tickhill, who has a brain tumour, returned to her bungalow in November.
She said: “I’m praying for the best but fearing the worst.
"I didn’t sleep at all last night. It’s been a year of hell but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
The National Flood Response Centre is coordinating a response but Downing Street said there were no plans to hold a Cobra emergency committee meeting.
Number 10 urged people to follow Environment Agency advice and check their flood risk.
Home owners in Bentley are preparing for the deluge
(Image: Glen Minikin)
Drivers and home owners were already affected yesterday as villages flooded in Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire after rivers burst their banks.
The Met Office has warned up to 200mm of rain could fall in Derbyshire today, where one driver found themselves stranded on the aptly-named Watery Lane in the village of Bretby.
Barriers were erected alongside the River Severn in Shrewsbury, Shrops, and Bewdley, Worcs, which both flooded last February.
Bramhall has already seen water levels rise
(Image: Vincent Cole)
In Leeds, Storm Christoph was blamed for a crash that left a Ferrari on its roof after smashing through a barrier on the M621.
Highways England tweeted: “Storm Christoph 1 – Ferrari 0.”
A major incident was declared in Greater Manchester ahead of expected heavy rainfall.
Authorities in North Yorkshire are helping people get to Covid-19 vaccination and testing sites.
More than 15,000 sandbags are on standby in the county and emergency services urged drivers to take care and not “take chances by driving through flood water.”
Met Office spokesman Oli Claydon said: “It’s not going to be a short burst of bad weather.
"It’s really persistent heavy rain.”
The Environment Agency said a combination of heavy rain and snowmelt created a “volatile situation”.
It will be followed by gale-force winds and a chance of snow as the temperature plummets.