Flood victim Annie Hall once served as the High Sheriff of Derbyshire

Derbyshire Police confirmed today that a woman’s body was recovered from flood water after officers were called in the early hours of the morning.

The Mirror reports: “Annie Hall, a former High Sheriff of Derbyshire who was appointed to the ceremonial position by the Queen, was swept away in floodwater in Rowsley and found two miles away.

“Mum Annie Hall, 69, was appointed to the position, which dates back more than 1,000 years, by the Queen in 2017 and was hailed as a “great leader” and “champion” of Derbyshire.

“She was swept away in the rain-swollen and debris-filled River Derwent in Rowsley, near Matlock, in the early hours of Friday and her body was reportedly found about two miles downstream in Darley Dale.”

Derbyshire Police Chief Constable Peter Goodman said: “I am shocked and deeply saddened by the untimely and tragic death of my friend, and former High Sheriff, Annie Hall.”

A police spokesperson for the force added: “Emergency services were called to the River Derwent in Darley Dale, near Matlock, in the early hours of Friday, 8 November to reports that a woman had been swept away by the water.

“The businesswoman was the first female president of the Derbyshire Chamber of Commerce, a founding member of the Training Enterprise Council, a non-executive director and vice-chairman of Derbyshire Mental Health Trust, and a Foundation Derbyshire trustee.

The swollen River Derwent floods a road in Darley Dale, Derbyshire (Image: SWNS)

“Members of the emergency services, mountain rescuers and a Coastguard helicopter were involved in the search and rescue mission,” the report added.

“The heaviest rainfall was at Swineshaw in the Peak District, which had 112mm in 24 hours.

“Hundreds of homes were evacuated and more than 100 residents were rescued by firefighters in South Yorkshire.

“Severe flood warnings remained in place in Doncaster on Saturday, along with dozens of warnings and alerts across Yorkshire and the Midlands.”

Officials say Mrs Hall “is believed she had fallen into a raging torrent of floodwater in Rowsley, Derbyshire in the early hours of the morning”.

“Paramedics were called at 7.14am today, and the body was recovered at around 10.40am in Darley Dale, near Matlock.

“More than 240 flood warnings were issued by the Met Office today, with dramatic aerial images showing entire neighbourhoods in the Yorkshire town of Doncaster, around 50 miles north of Derbyshire, swamped by floodwaters.

“The deluge was so fast that householders had to open their front and back doors so the water could flow through their homes.”

One area resident said: “I have never seen anything like it. It happened so fast.”

Meanwhile, the Environment Agency has repeated warnings for people to stay away from swollen rivers, with residents describing the deluge as ‘almost biblical’.

Homes are submerged in rising floodwaters in Doncaster (Image: Tom Maddick / SWNS)

“Yorkshire and the Midlands were the worst-affected areas, with six severe “danger to life” warnings in place around the River Don as of 4pm.

“Water levels reached dangerous record highs, with homes in the Bentley area of the South Yorkshire town flooded, and street and roads left impassable by the deluge.”

The Mirror reports: “Locals were using boats to help fellow residents evacuate their homes this afternoon, as others dragged sandbags through the waters in a desperate bid to protect their properties.

“Rescue operations on one street in the town saw a disabled man who had been stuck in his home for days rescued from the property by fire and rescue crews as floodwaters rose.”

He was “loaded onto a boat and taken away through to the edge of the waist-high waters, where emergency services were waiting to transport him away to safety”.

“Some complained that authorities had ‘acted too slowly’ in evacuating homes, and putting sandbags in place.

“But Environment Agency chiefs pointed out flood defences put in place after the Sheffield floods of 2007 had prevented the scale of destruction seen then,” the report said.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote: “Awful to see the terrible flooding across the North of England. Thank you to the emergency staff & volunteers helping families through this difficult time.”

At last check, the rain was easing, moving south, although the impact of heavy rainfall “will continue to be felt”.

  • A family pulls an inflatable boat they have been using to rescue floodwater trapped residents in Doncaster (Image: PA)