Severe flooding of Biblical proportions has hit northern Britain with one death reported and dozens of people having to spend the night in a shopping centre in Sheffield. They had becoming trapped by torrentiesl downpours.

One person so far has been reported dead in the downpour. Derbyshire police said the woman was reported as having been “swept away by flood water” in Rowsley and the body of what is believed to be the same woman was later found in Darley Dale.

The body was recovered by emergency services at 10.40am after they were called to the River Derwent, close to Matlock, in the early hours of this morning.

A spokesperson at the force said: “The family of the woman have been informed and our thoughts are with them at this time.

“Formal identification has yet to take place.”

The rain continued overnight  after flooding the city’s streets, with people using benches and chairs for makeshift beds in the Meadowhall centre.

Some tried to get home in cars and taxis but many chose to stay.

Jodie Whelan, 23, stayed at the centre after he shift at the Disney Store had ended. She said getting back was “an absolute no-go”.

Van pictured submerged in water in Sheffield last night (Lee Parkinson)

“I’m feeling very tired,” she told the BBC. “A bit fed up but trying to make the best out of an awful situation. The atmosphere is very weird but communal.

“Some people got a bit rowdy and it was upsetting seeing some older people and people with babies or children, but thankfully we are all warm and safe.”

A police officer mans a roadblock near Meadowhall shopping centre (PA)

Hundreds of people were initially kept inside the complex by police after the surrounding streets flooded.

Restaurant worker Luke Turner also told the BBC he was unable to get home from his shift at the shopping centre, while Charlotte Lowther-Fuller, 18, who was also stuck in the building, said: “There’s people in suits sleeping, one guy in a Tesco uniform.”

The flooding in Sheffield and across northern England is forecaast to continue (PA)

Weather warnings by the Met Office went out yesterday saying there was a flood alert for part of north and north-west England. It said there was a ‘risk to life’ due to a month of rain falling in two days. 

A major incident was declared in Sheffield while in Rotherham firefighters had to rescue around 100 people by boat who were stranded in Parkgate centre

In Nottinghamshire, 35 homes were evacuated after a mudslide caused by heavy rain.

More than 100 weather warnings remain in place across the north of England and rain continues to cause serious disruption to roads and public transport.

The Environment Agency predicts the River Don in Doncaster will reach its highest recorded level later today. 

Northern Rail has issues a “do not travel” warning to commuters in parts of northern England.