York on flood alert: Roads closed, Foss Barrier raised, homes at risk and waters continue to rise – 35 pictures

Folk trapped in their homes on Huntington Road. Photographs: Fiona McDougall
Folk trapped in their homes on Huntington Road. Photographs: Fiona McDougall

Folk trapped in their homes on Huntington Road. Photographs: Fiona McDougall

York is on high flood alert with roads closed, homes at risk and the river still rising.

The Environment Agency has issued six severe flood warnings for York.

The Foss Barrier, one of York’s main flood protection structures, has been lifted after water entered the building leading to a danger of electrical failure. That means the Foss is being emptied into the Ouse.

Owners of potentially vulnerable properties near the Foss have been advised by the Environment Agency to move valuables upstairs.

A rest centre at Archbishop Holgate School has been set up for people affected by flooding in Tang Hall, Huntington and Osbaldwick. Vulnerable residents who need to get there should call North Yorkshire Police on 101.

The Scarborough and Ryedale Mountain Rescue team has been deployed to help out in York.

York road closures

Huntington Road – from the Monkgate roundabout and Hayley’s Terrace/Fossway Junction
Monks Cross Link Road
Skeldergate
Shipton Road (lower)
Hempland Lane
Walmgate and Navigation Road
Foss Island Road
Water End
Huntington Road
Rufforth Main Street
Rufforth Main Street
Water Lane
Foss Bank (Near Sainsbury’s)

An emergency meeting of the York Flood Group took place on Boxing Day afternoon as flooding affected several parts of the city.

Foss Bank looking from Monkgate Roundabout. Photograph: Richard McDougall

Foss Bank looking from Monkgate Roundabout. Photograph: Richard McDougall

Fire crews are on alert

Fire crews are on alert

The group – comprising representatives from the police, fire service, City of York Council, Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water – only meets when the River Ouse levels reach, or are expected to reach, 4.2 meters above normal summer level (asl).

On Saturday (December 26) river levels are currently at 3.8m asl and are predicated to peak at about five metres (16.4ft) above normal summer level.

Rowntree Park and St George’s Field Car Park are closed.

The police say up to 3,500 homes could be at risk from the River Foss flooding.

The Environment Agency released this flood risk map of York late on December 26

The Environment Agency released this flood risk map of York late on December 26

Bus services on the roads may be affected on Sunday and people are advised to contact the bus operator in the first instance.

All Park&Ride routes will be running as normal tomorrow. Diversions may be in place which may result in slightly longer journey times.

Home evacuated, sandbags out

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Sandbags protect one property and parked cars caught in the floods

Residents living in City of York Council’s Windsor House residential home are being relocated within other council owned residential homes. This is due to minor flooding in the basement of the buidling. Families are being directly informed.

The council has erected sandbag defences at Peckitt Street, Tower Gardens, Tower Place and Clementhorpe. The access bridge to City Mills Residential Home has also been erected.

Front line teams from all organisations are working round the clock to protect residents, tourists and to keep York open for business.

Don't ignore these signs

Don’t ignore these signs

Superintendent Dave Hannan of North Yorkshire Police, said:

It’s important that motorists check the weather forecast and only make journeys that are absolutely necessary and under no circumstances ignore road closure signs.

It is impossible to judge the depth of flood water and you could put yourself and passengers at risk if you attempt it. Please also remember to adjust your driving to the current road conditions and arrive safely at your destination.

Over the coming hours and days, we will continue to monitor the situation in residential areas that are at risk, and working with local authority partners, will take the necessary action to ensure the safety of local residents.

The Environment Agency is monitoring the situation. Check the latest York flood alerts on the agency website.

The River Ouse is still rising. Photograph: Carrie Geddes

The River Ouse is still rising. Photograph: Carrie Geddes

Flood facts

The River Ouse is expected to continue rising over the next few days and peak on Monday
People are advised to plan their journeys ahead by visiting the EA website and avoid flood water
York has 2.5 miles of flood defences, which were constructed between 1985 and 1995
The defences are designed to withstand river levels of up to 5.45m above normal summer levels and have never been breached

The north east of the city is protected from flooding by the Foss Barrier
The Foss Barrier was constructed in 1987 after serious flooding in 1982 (5.1m above normal summer levels)
About £8m was spent on flood defences in York following the 1982 floods
The flood defences surrounding the city protect up to 5K residential properties and numerous business properties

More photos of the floods

Foss Islands Road underwater

Foss Islands Road underwater

Huntington Road is completely underwater

Huntington Road is completely underwater

Floodwaters on the Museum Gardens side, next to Star Inn The City

Floodwaters on the Museum Gardens side, next to Star Inn The City

The Ouse on Boxing Day. Photograph: Carrie Geddes

The Ouse on Boxing Day. Photograph: Carrie Geddes

What was once the junction between Ramsay Close and Huntington Road is now a lake

What was once the junction between Ramsay Close and Huntington Road is now a lake

Another view of Foss Islands Road

Another view of Foss Islands Road

Foss Bank is impassable

Foss Bank is impassable

No chance of breaking the speed limit, unless you're in a motor boat

No chance of breaking the speed limit, unless you’re in a motor boat

The waters swirling on Huntington Road

The waters swirling on Huntington Road

Council workers in the thick of it

Council workers in the thick of it

Business along Huntington Road are also affected

Business along Huntington Road are also affected

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Views towards the Foss

The waters are almost up to the life ring on the river bank

The waters are almost up to the life ring on the river bank

Many York homes are under siege from the floodwaters

Many York homes are under siege from the floodwaters

The waters almost reach the bridge

The waters almost reach the bridge

A lorry in the water

A lorry in the water

The worrying scene on Boxing Night

The worrying scene on Boxing Night

Flooding in Tweets