LONDON-About 500 homes have been flooded in Doncaster with more than 1,000 properties evacuated in areas hit by the rising waters, including the village of Fishlake where residents have complained about the lack of warnings.

So what are the factors that have made these floods so damaging, and are they a taste of what the future might bring? Environment correspondent Matt McGrath has been looking at the likely causes of the floods along the Don.

Do we know why Fishlake has had such large floods?

There are numerous factors at play, but in essence Fishlake has been caught in a pincer movement with two rivers, the Don and Ea Beck both bursting their banks into an area that was heavily sodden from rain over a period of weeks.

Making matters worse is the fact that Fishlake is built on what was once a boggy fenland, that was drained many years ago.

“Fishlake is on the edge of the Great Humberhead levels which was a massive fenland and huge peat bog until the 1700s,” said Prof Ian Rotherham from Sheffield Hallam University.

“By 1900, almost the entirety had gone. We drained the landscape and we’ve built on it.”

Where did all the water come from?

There was a dramatic and sustained downpour last week with South Yorkshire receiving the equivalent of a month of rain in just one day.

But the situation was made worse because, according to experts, there was nothing to slow down the flow of the water in the River Don.

“This water is coming from the uplands, it is coming from the Peak District, from the Pennines,” said Prof Rotherham.

“And what we have had there is the massive removal of peat by cutting, the burning of heather moorland and of course drainage, and instead of holding the water back in the uplands, it shoots downstream.

“All the way along we have straightened the rivers and drained the flood lands. The water rushes down. It is not being held back and it spews out across the lowlands and that’s what happened here.”