Clean up starts after a night of flooding

Firemen on duty following the night of flooding, 10:15am.
Firemen on duty following the night of flooding, 10:15am.
Mud and debris covering the road on The Wicker.
Mud and debris covering the road on The Wicker.

The clean up operation began on the Wicker on Tuesday morning, 26th June 2007.

Mud covered the pavements from the Wicker Arches to Nursery Street where the flood waters from the River Don had raged and then subsided.

Wicker shops following the night of flooding.
Wicker shops following the night of flooding.

Shops, restaurants and organisations where helped by fire crews who were pumping out water. The Council's Streetforce were loading trucks with mud, while builders fixed fencing and barriers displaced by the flood.

The only way to cross the Wicker and Lady's Bridge was on foot, as police prevented traffic from using the road so the clean up could continue.

Burngreave Schools were amongst the many closed on Tuesday, as transport links across the city were seriously disrupted, with trains, buses and trams out of action for the day.

How it all began

Heavy, persistant, rain since the early hours of Monday 25th June had swollen the River Don. By the afternoon there were fears that it would break its banks. The Exhange Brewery on Lady's Bridge was evacuated at 2pm as water reached the height of the ground floor and started spilling onto Nursery Street. Pedestrians were forced to wade through water on the Wicker.

The River Don flows into Nursery Street, 7:55pm.
The River Don flows into Nursery Street, 7:55pm.

A second river

Within hours the river had risen several feet and by 5pm water was running like a second river on Nursery Street, down the Wicker, along Savile Street and on towards Brightside Lane. The water rose so quickly that people were trapped in premises on the Wicker, and businesses along the route to Attercliffe.

Burngreave cut off

Meanwhile the River Don was overflowing at Rutland Road and also at Sutherland Street, where it meets Savile Street. Upwell Street in Fir Vale was closed and nearby Brightside Lane was under several feet of water. Burngreave was cut off from the rest of the city, with road closures bringing traffic to a stand still for hours on Burngreave Road, Rutland Road and Cookswood Road, as people tried to get home.

Gridlock throughout the city forced bus companys to suspend their services and people began abandoning their cars. People took to walking were they could.

Wading through Corporation Street, 7:15pm.
Wading through Corporation Street, 7:15pm.

Only one place to cross the Don

The unfinished inner relief road at the bottom of Spital Hill was opened to pedestrians, offering a temporary route around the Wicker. People were directed to the the only passable crossing over the Don at Corporation Street's new bridge. Walkers were still forced to wade through knee-deep water on the other side in order to get into town.


At 7.30pm helicopters could be heard above the city, as rescue attempts began in Brightside. A motorised dinghy was seen rescuing people stranded in the Mobilty Shop on the Wicker. The Messenger met a man on Brunswick Road who had just been rescued from Dixon Ford, trying to find a way into the city centre, numerous road closures had made usual routes home impossible.


It was later reported that a man died on the Wicker between 8pm and 8.30pm. The 68 year old man was said to be trying to get home to Burngreave when he got into difficulties in the fast moving water. He was dragged to safety and attempts were made to revive him but he later died in hospital. The police are calling for witnesses to the incident, so they can piece together the full details. Contact Detective Sergeant Graham Stead on 0114 2964171.

Waters subside

Water levels peaked at around 10pm, and traffic jams continued until the early hours. Burngreave Road began to clear at around midnight and residents caught up in the road chaos began to arrive home from work – 20 minute journeys had taken more than 7 hours for some.

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The content on this page was added to the website by Lisa Swift on 2007-06-26 21:18:46.
The content of the page was last modified by Rohan Francis on 2007-07-03 23:36:20.

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