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Last Updated: Friday, 29 June 2007, 19:57 GMT 20:57 UK
Charles visits flood-hit region
Prince Charles in Catcliffe
Prince Charles visited homes devastated by flooding
The Prince of Wales has visited people caught up in the floods in South Yorkshire as the region braces itself for more heavy rain over the weekend.

He visited Catcliffe, in Rotherham, and Sheffield to meet flood victims and emergency services as the clean-up continued across the region.

The Prince said he felt "enormously sympathetic" to residents' plight.

Hundreds of homes remain flooded with the villages of Bentley and Toll Bar near Doncaster still badly-affected.

'Misery and horror'

In Catcliffe, householders ventured out of their devastated houses to talk to Prince Charles.

Speaking after visiting one family, he said: "I can imagine the horror of having to go through this kind of natural disaster, particularly at three o'clock in the morning, to be woken up and told to evacuate.

Prince Charles in Catcliffe
The Prince praised relief efforts in the wake of the flooding

"And then, of course, there's the misery and horror of losing all your belongings, certainly all the ones on the ground floor, that then have to be destroyed."

Prince Charles added the disaster had brought out "the best in people".

He said: "People come to each other's rescue, the emergency services have obviously been marvellous and reacted in their extraordinarily special way."

'Pitching in'

Later, he chatted with workers at Sheffield Forgemasters, which has suffered an estimated 15m damage in the floods.

He congratulated one worker who helped rescue several members of the public who were stranded in their cars on Brightside Lane using a loading shovel truck.

Company director Peter Birtles later said Charles had asked for information about the firm so he could "use his influence to pitch in".

Mr Birtles said: "He wants to make sure we get the right response from our accountants, our backers and financial institutions to help with the immediate cash implications of all of this, the short-term cash issues."

Offer to victims

Meanwhile, in Sheffield, the family of a 68-year-old man who died when he fell into raging floodwater offered all the dead man's furniture to any family who had lost everything in the deluge.

Peter Harding was swept under a raging torrent 6ft (2m) deep in Newhall Road in Brightside on Monday.

We are looking to get hold of this superman hero firstly to thank him for his efforts on that night
Ch Supt Jon House, South Yorkshire Police

The family have said they did not want to make any public comment about their loss, but Mr Harding's brother-in-law, Joseph Mather, rang BBC Radio Sheffield on Friday to make the offer.

Mr Mather said: "We just thought rather than the furniture go and be thrown away we would rather let somebody have it."

Describing Mr Harding as a "fine chap", he added: "My wife took it quite badly but we're coping all right.

"We'll get through. It's a very upsetting time."

Police have appealed for a "true hero" who tried desperately to save Mr Harding to come forward.

The passer-by dived into the floodwaters twice and dragged him out of the water but could not revive him.

Ch Supt Jon House, of South Yorkshire Police: "We are looking to get hold of this superman hero firstly to thank him for his efforts on that night and secondly because he was a witness to this tragic accident.

"Finally, and most importantly, the family of Mr Harding want to meet him and thank him personally for the effort he put in to save their loved one."

Emergency services and homeowners are anxiously keeping an eye on the weather as more heavy rain is forecast over the coming days.

The Met Office has issued an early warning of severe weather, with further rain and showers forecast to sweep across the Yorkshire and Humber region throughout the weekend.




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