Residents had to wade through murky floodwater, while cars were abandoned and homes have been submerged by nearly 10ft of water in some parts. The Met Office has already issued a "danger to life" warning as a month's rain fell in 24 hours. Hundreds of people were stranded in a shopping centre after flooding brought gridlock to surrounding roads.
Thousands had headed to the Meadowhall shopping centre, just off the M1 near Sheffield, yesterday for the annual Christmas Live event which was due to feature acts including Ella Henderson, Tom Zanetti and Jonas Blue.
But the show was called off at the last minute as torrential rain saw levels on the nearby River Don rise dramatically.
Police announced that the area was gridlocked and began to turn trapped motorists back into the centre's massive car parks.
Shoppers in Meadowhall were told not to leave and to "await further updates".
The police added: "If you are travelling to collect people, do not attempt your journey."
The force said it had closed the nearby junction 34 of the M1 in both directions to "alleviate pressure". The nearby Whiston Brook burst leaving parts of the village of Whiston up to nine-feet underwater following the downpour.
Homes are severely flooded in Yorkshire (Image: Tom Maddick / SWNS)
Rain has caused chaos in South Yorkshire (Image: Tom Maddick / SWNS)
PhD student Liz Churton, 58, lost paintings, art equipment, books and furniture after her