Flood Event Response: South Yorkshire and East Midlands

On 7 November 2019, persistent and intense rain fell across many districts in the north of England, including Sheffield, Doncaster, Bentley and Fishlake which all experienced severe flooding. In some areas, a month’s worth of rain fell in less than 24 hours (The Guardian, 2019). Around 400 homes have been flooded and 1,200 people evacuated across the areas affected (BBC, 2019).

At midnight on 7 November, a rain gauge in Sheffield recorded 85.9 mm of rainfall, with Doncaster recording 61.2 mm at the same time (Met Office, 2019). New records for river levels have been set for several gauged locations along the River Don, including Fishlake where river levels peaked at 6.87 metres on 9 November (Environment Agency, 2019). The River Don, which flows through Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster, is believed to have reached levels higher than that experienced in the devastating floods of 2007 which resulted in 13 deaths and damage to 48,000 properties and 7,000 businesses across the country (Yorkshire Post, 2017).

A yellow warning of rain was introduced for 11 and 12 November, with the warning extended on the morning of Monday 11 November to cover more of West Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire (Met Office, 2019). At the time of writing, five severe flood warnings remain in place along the River Don, impacting Kirk Bramwith, South Bramwith, Willow Bridge Caravan Site, Bentley and Fishlake (Environment Agency, 2019). However, water levels on the Don have peaked and started to recede (Environment Agency, 2019).

Our Flood Foresight system has been monitoring the recent flood events in Derbyshire and South Yorkshire and produced forecast and real-time flood depth footprints.

On 6 November, Flood Foresight indicated the potential for flooding at Meadowhall Sheffield two days in advance. The forecast intensified on 7 November and resultant flooding was seen on the surrounding access ways and railway station by 8 November.




In Bentley, Doncaster, Flood Foresight indicated property at risk on 7 November with flooding again seen on 8 November.

What is Flood Foresight?

Flood Foresight is a system that provides flood inundation, depth and impact data before, during and after flood events. It provides a globally scalable framework for integrating the best available data for understanding flood events, including flood hazard maps, rainfall forecasts, hydrological models, river levels/flows, and earth observation. Once the event subsides, we can use Flood Foresight and observational data to develop a maximum flood footprint (extent and depths) across the event. Flood Foresight can be used for:

  • Rapid loss forecasting giving you added confidence in exposure management
  • Limiting exposure to live flood events by identifying underwriting embargoes based on forecast data
  • Increasing client satisfaction by moving from reactive to proactive claims management
  • Speeding up claims triage and adjusting and securing early access to claims support resources
  • Best recovery from reinsurance hours clause by defining time of onset and duration of flooding

Want to know more?

Find out more about Flood Foresight here or get in touch.

For more information on JBA’s flood mapping and event response work, please speak to our team.



BBC News. (2019). Fishlake flooding: Weather warnings as more rain due. [online] Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-50372839?intlink_from_url=&link_location=live-reporting-story [Accessed 11 Nov. 2019].

GOV.UK. (2019). Flood warnings for England – GOV.UK. [online] Available at: https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/warnings [Accessed 11 Nov. 2019].

Met Office. (2019). Met Office WOW. [online] Available at: https://wow.metoffice.gov.uk/ [Accessed 11 Nov. 2019].

The Guardian. (2019). Flooding in Yorkshire – in pictures. [online] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/gallery/2019/nov/08/flooding-in-yorkshire-in-pictures [Accessed 11 Nov. 2019].

The Yorkshire Post. (2019). The fight to protect Sheffield from repeat of deadly floods of 2007. [online] Available at: https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/latest-news/the-fight-to-protect-sheffield-from-repeat-of-deadly-floods-of-2007-1-8611534 [Accessed 11 Nov. 2019].

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