Sheffield cookshop battles against floodwater

As floods raged through the streets of Sheffield yesterday the two partners in Abbotts Cookshop in the city spent the afternoon and early evening battling against the rising waters.
Stock not displayed in the shop is held on racks in the cellar. “The cellar was tanked years ago but wherever you get a pipe going through, water can find its way through,” partner Peter Jackson told “We had a water pump and an aqua vac and from 3 till 7.30pm we were pumping and mopping and kept it at bay. But it kept coming to the front door and then there’s nothing you can do about it. We’re in the lowest bit of this road and the drains outside aren’t man enough to cope.”

The floods were the result of the Rivers Don and Sheaf, which run close together in the city centre, bursting their banks after prolonged rain. Jackson admitted it had been frightening watching the water rise, and “every time it starts lapping against the door”. Fortunately the efforts of Jackson and partner Jim Abbott meant no stock was damaged.

The shop, in Abbeydale Road, has been flooded before – just three months after it first opened three years ago. “We had a lot of water that came in through the front door,” said Jackson.

He said that prolonged rain over the last fortnight had not deterred shoppers but that trade was quiet today: “In spite of the heavy rain trade’s been good in the past couple of weeks. We’ve had a few in today but people can’t get across the city.”

Jackson added that more rain was forecast but that the floods were now subsiding.

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