Well, the last couple of blog entries have been… well, attracting various new readers looking for more information on Sheffield’s floods.
When I wrote them I had no idea the flooding would be this extreme. Indeed, the last one was written at lunch-time yesterday when the full force of the flooding had yet to be felt here.
It’s been a mad 12 hours.
We count ourselves lucky – we live on top of a hill, one of the highest hills in Sheffield – Broomhill to be exact. Apart from the “streams” running down the Manchester Road there was little to effect us way up there. Sarah – quite valiantly – attempted to get to the Northern General Hospital for a night shift, but was only able to travel one mile between 8 and11pm before being turned back by the police when all hell broke loose on Rutland Road by the river.
It wasn’t just the rain though – trees were felled, a major fire broke out around the Meadowhall area and commuters were blown away as gales whipped up the streets from their abandoned vehicles. The A57 through Broomhill was littered with the skeletal remains of umbrellas that just didn’t make it home.
Yet this morning - around our side of town at least - apart from infrequent bus services and the mangled remains of a tree set aside the university road, there was little to show for it. The waters had receded, the sun was out.
It was also eerily quiet for a Tuesday morning - I think there are some who are still stunned by the severity of what has been the wettest day on record here.
And it's not over yet. One of the city's reservoirs is about to burst - the city's major powerstation along with it. We're expecting black-outs across the city - the Northern General Hospital is sounding another major emergency.
So this quite surreal situation is set to continue - hopefully only for a short time.
But Sheffield people are nothing but resilient. Depending on whether the problem is compounded by more heavy rain, the city will recover and recover quickly. That’s just how we are here.
As for the writing project in October... I stopped someone from saying “life imitating art” last night. My reason is that The Isles of Sheffield will deal with something a little more catastrophic than what we experienced here over the last 24 hours.
But seeing what a mess one months rainfall in one day can do to a landlocked city, it makes me shiver to think what chaos a flood of biblical proportions would cause here.
The Isles of Sheffield is meant to be escapist fiction.
Hopefully it will remain that way.