South Yorkshire flooding: Clean-up starts in Bentley

Image caption,
Bentley was flooded when South Yorkshire was hit by persistent torrential rain

Communities hit by flooding have begun the big clear-up despite warnings still being in place in England and Wales.

In the Bentley area of Doncaster, volunteers have turned out to get to work after the streets were flooded during torrential rain last week.

A disaster relief appeal has raised more than £285,000 to help people affected in South Yorkshire.

The flooding has seen the Christmas lights switch-on in Rotherham cancelled until further notice.

Firefighters in the area have also been angered after some of their equipment was vandalised.

'Public be vigilant'

"Unfortunately with events like this, a certain element of the community will always see what they class as an opportunity," South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue area manager Simon Dunker said.

"All I'd urge is that members of the public are vigilant and report anything they see as potentially unsavoury."

He said the fire brigade were focusing their efforts on Doncaster this weekend and were being supported by other services.

Image caption,
The emergency services helped clear water from the flooded streets of Bentley

St Peter's Church in Bentley has organised a clean-up effort with volunteers using the Custom Windows and Doors showroom as a hub.

Shane Miller from the shop said: "It's just been phenomenal, from the night of the floods, people wading up to their wastes, kids carrying sandbags, women carrying sandbags, old age people trying to carry sandbags, it's really been overwhelming."

Local mosques are also supporting the relief effort, holding special prayers and collecting donations.

Iman Sadaqat Hussain, from the Madina Mosque in Sheffield, said: "I think this is a great opportunity for the Muslim community to come forward in helping and aiding our fellow citizens and community members.

Image caption,
About 200 volunteers are expected to take part in the clean-up effort in Bentley

Today, 85% of shops are open at Rotherham's ParkGate centre, where people became stranded due to flooding.

Jamie Robinson, from Wilson's Carpets, said: "It's come at the worst time of year for us because this is our busiest time of the year.

"We're one of the lucky ones in a sense because we have insurance cover, I feel bad for some of the other businesses that I've heard about."

Image caption,
Volunteers have come from Leicester, Dewsbury and Peterborough

Some car parks at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire are inaccessible, with restrictions in place at the stately home and its Christmas market.

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