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Sheffield floods keep news staff at work all night

News staff at The Star have worked around the clock to provide rolling coverage of the devastating Sheffield floods.

Editor Alan Powell and many of his staff have worked a 24-hour shift as it became apparent that rising water levels in the River Don were building the city’s biggest story since Hillsborough.

Today’s first edition has 18 pages on the flooding, which has claimed two lives, and web pages at were updated as late as 3am today.

More than a dozen stories and scores of pictures, both from staff photographers and from readers, are on The Star’s website.

Alan said: “When you get a big story like this a lot of people want to be involved in it – and they have been.

“It is at times like this you go into purely professional mode and get the job done.

“It’s the biggest story of its kind since the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.

“The story began to build yesterday when it became clear the rainfall was more than just an ordinary downpour.

“By 2-3pm when roads started to close and it was clear the River Don was getting dangerously high, it was becoming an hour-by-hour disaster.”

The team that completed news coverage and updated the website will be replaced by fresh staff to continue the story today, as flood waters subside.

Although water levels in the city are falling, many people are expected to stay away from work as the clean-up operation gets under way.

The Star experienced a sales drop in the centre of Sheffield following minor floods a week ago when people stayed away – but the sale picked up in the suburbs.

Alan said: “We are getting the papers out as quickly as we can today, to take account of problems on the roads.

“There won’t be many people in the city centre but we know from experience they will want to buy the Star wherever they are in the region.”

Today’s main city edition is being combined with the district editions for Rotherham and Barnsley to take account of any logistical matters. The Doncaster edition will be published as normal.

The flood waters covered a mainly commercial and industrial area in Sheffield, as well as towns on the outskirts of the city and came within half a mile of the Star office.