Flood victim was ex Derbyshire High Sheriff Annie Hall

  • Published
Annie HallImage source, Derbyshire Police
Image caption,
Annie Hall's family said: “We are in great shock and grieving"

A woman swept to her death by a flooded river was Derbyshire's former High Sheriff Annie Hall, police have said.

Her body was pulled from the River Derwent near Matlock on Friday, as persistent rain caused floods across Yorkshire and the Midlands.

Derbyshire Chief Constable Peter Goodman said he was "shocked and deeply saddened" by the death of his friend.

Seven severe flood warnings - deemed a threat to life - remain in place on the River Don in South Yorkshire.

Flooding has caused evacuations and travel disruption, with trains still not running in parts of the East Midlands.

In a statement, Mrs Hall's family said: "We are in great shock and grieving."

Media caption,

Drone footage filmed from Matlock shows the extent of the floodwater

Services are cancelled on the Matlock-Derby-Nottingham route and diversions are in place between Derby and Chesterfield, adding about 30 minutes to journeys.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said it had declared a major incident on Friday night, and said it had carried out more than 160 rescues over 24 hours.

Deputy chief fire officer Alex Johnson advised people to "keep themselves safe, help each other and don't drive into floodwater".

Residents from 12 homes in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, are still unable to return home after a mudslide on Thursday led to 35 properties being evacuated.

Image caption,
The River Derwent burst its banks in Derby city centre

In Derby city centre, officials considered a city-wide evacuation as authorities saw the River Derwent swell to record levels of 3.35m (11ft).

The bus station was temporarily evacuated on Friday evening, and some major roads remain flooded.

In Worksop, Nottinghamshire, water levels are receding after 200 homes and businesses were evacuated on Thursday evening.

Bassetlaw District Council said it had closed its emergency rest centre as everyone who had left their homes were with friends and relatives.

The River Don, which flows through Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster, hit its highest recorded level at just over 6.3m (21ft), higher than it was in 2007 when it also flooded.

Image source, AFP/Getty Images
Image caption,
Rescuers used boats to reach people trapped in Rotherham

People continued to be rescued from flood-hit towns and cities on Friday.

One man told the BBC he carried children from his gym in Rotherham through flooded streets.

"The whole of the gym was completely flooded in water," said Neil Wilson.

"We had to wade through water to get children to the cars so they could get home with their parents."

One of the most severely hit areas was Bentley, Doncaster, where flooding affected many homes 12 years ago.

Media caption,

This home in Fishlake, near Doncaster, has been left nearly submerged in floodwater

One resident told BBC Radio Sheffield: "The worry is our insurance policies are expensive as it is because of the 2007 floods, so now we're all worried whether we're going to get reinsured."

Reporter Richard Cadey said some residents were "angry and frustrated" at Doncaster Council - claiming it had not been providing sandbags early enough to prevent properties from flooding.

A rest facility has been set up by the council at the Salvation Army centre in the town.

Flooding has caused disruption in the region since Thursday evening, when dozens of shoppers were left stranded in the Meadowhall Shopping Centre after torrential downpours.

Sheffield has had 84mm of rain over the past 36 hours, which is the near the average monthly rainfall for Yorkshire.

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Prime Minister Boris Johnson helping with the clean up in Matlock on Friday evening

On Friday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Matlock, close to where Mrs Hall died.

He said the town could expect "extra help from the government".

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn visited flood-hit Conisbrough, near Doncaster, on Saturday and warned the UK could expect more extreme weather due to climate change.

"Obviously we need much better flood management and prevention schemes," he said.

"It also means properly funding our fire and rescue services and properly funding our Environment Agency to deal with this."

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