Rotherham in the 2007 Floods
Photographs by Chris Bilton.
The months of May to July in 2007 were recorded as the UK’s wettest in 250 years. The river Don, was already fit to burst it’s banks when, on
Monday 25th June 2007, a torrential downpour fell. The rainfall was some of the heaviest recorded in UK history) and led to flooding across areas of Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster.
Chris Bilton, a Rotherham resident and writer, explored the flooded town with his grandaughter Jade. His photos show a empty and strange Rotherham.
Jade looking over the flooded river in Rotherham. The chance of a flood of this extent happening in Rotherham was 1 in every 200 years.
The extent of the floods in Rotherham town centre and beyond
The river flowed over the Bailey Bridge
Later, as the tide went out a boat was left, parked on the top of Bailey Bridge
Jade, investigates a bench splattered with twigs and leaves. The river normally flows around 30 metres from this flooded spot on the Eastwood playing fields.
Flotsam was dragged down the flooding river and built up on the side of Chantry Bridge.
The dramatic flooding around Our Lady of the Chapel on the Bridge.
The town was shut down with roads, motorways and railways closed. Meadowhall shopping centre was left with a ground floor submerged in several feet of water.
Hundreds were evacuated from their homes by dinghy, boat and helicopter. Entire villages nearby Ulley reservoir were evacuated amidst fears the dam would burst.
Shortly after, millions were invested in flood protection schemes and upgrades to the flood defences along the Don.