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Last Updated: Monday, 2 July 2007, 08:18 GMT 09:18 UK
Misery goes on for flood villages
Pumping away flood water
Flood water is being pumped away from villages in South Yorkshire
Residents in the worst-hit areas of flooded South Yorkshire have been warned they may have to wait three days before the streets are pumped dry.

The warning came as 280 people forced out of their homes by floods in Bentley and Toll Bar, near Doncaster, spent another night in rest centres.

Three severe flood warnings remained on the nearby River Don and Ea Beck.

However, water levels are falling and weather forecasters predicted the rain would ease off this week.

A major operation by firefighters to pump water out of the streets of Bentley and Toll Bar appeared to be succeeding on Monday.

Doncaster mayor Martin Winter said there had been a "dramatic reduction" in water levels in Bentley and that emergency services were "finally making an impact" in Toll Bar.

He added: "The Met Office has withdrawn its severe weather warning for Monday and Tuesday and with water levels at the River Don and Ea Beck continuing to fall we should be able to remove the remaining water."

A spokesman in the South Yorkshire emergency control room said: "It's certainly not getting any worse. The rains haven't been quite as bad as they could have been."

Pumping out flood water
Thousands of litres of water are being pumped into the River Don

The Environment Agency is maintaining three severe flood warnings for South Yorkshire, including for Ea Beck at Toll Bar and along the River Don at Bentley.

Meteorologists said the unsettled weather would continue over the next few days but the rainfall would be less intense than last week.

Meanwhile, police in the worst-affected areas stepped up patrols after rumours spread about looting of abandoned homes.

But officers said there had been no official reports of such incidents.

In Sheffield, the Meadowhall shopping centre, which has been closed for a week, was due to partially reopen on Monday.

A spokesman for the centre, which has lost millions of pounds in revenue since last Monday's deluge, said all the shops on the upper level and some on the lower level would be open.

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