The clean up operation has begun after the floods

Work has begun to clean up after the riverside flooding post-Storm Dennis.

City of York Council’s clean-up operation started yesterday (Wednesday, 19 February), but flood defences are staying firmly in place to continue protecting the city as heavy rain is expected this weekend.

Council leader Keith Aspden said:

  • As our clean-up operation starts, you’ll see our front line teams sweeping and cleaning paths and cycle routes across the city from today. We’ll also be carrying out additional inspections of our roads to repair potholes.

    York remains vibrant and exciting as usual, offering lots of activities and events for residents and visitors over this half-term.

Two drivers clocked at more than 90mph on A64

Photograph: North Yorkshire Police Traffic Bureau on Twitter

Two drivers were clocked travelling at more than 90mph on the A64 last night.

This was in spite of poor driving conditions.

North Yorkshire Police Traffic Bureau posted this picture on Twitter and said:

  • A64 last night and despite the poor weather conditions, two drivers thought it was acceptable to travel in excess of 90mph.

    The risks and stopping distances increase in poor weather. Please Slow Down and Stay Safe.

Bridges to be checked for damage as flood waters recede

Ouse Bridge in York on 17 February. Photograph: YorkMix

Now that the water levels are dropping thoughts are turning to safety and recovery.

YorkMix reader and photographer extraordinaire Anthony Chappel-Ross asked an important question about the state of the bridges in the wake of the flooding.

We’ve asked the question to City of York Council – and the answer is, yes.

This is from James Gilchrist, assistant director for transport, highways and environment:

  • Currently there are no signs of any serious damage as a result of the recent stormy weather.

    However, as is responsible we will be checking our roads and bridges as part of the recovery work, which will take place in the coming days.

Theft from a York taxi – Do you recognise him?

The man police want to talk to
North Yorkshire Police appealing for information after man failed to pay taxi fare

The incident happened on 28 December 2019 between 8am – 9am when a male took a taxi from York Train Station. He travelled to Selby in the taxi, before returning to Riccall Business Park in York. He then left the taxi without paying his fare.

Officers are asking members of the public to get in touch if they recognise the man in the image as they believe he will have information that could help the investigation.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2 and ask for Paul Orange or email paul.orange@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk.

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can pass information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Please quote reference number 12190236571 when passing on information.

Ten flood warnings remain in place

Even if the immediate danger from major flooding has thankfully receded, ten flood warnings remain in and around York.

They are:

The flood warnings page for York is here.

Video: Flood defences stay in place to protect York

Water levels are dropping, but York’s flood defences are staying firmly in place.

The River Ouse peaked at 4.43m on Monday – the highest it has reached since the 2015 floods – but the defences did their job.

Since then levels have fallen and at noon today (Wednesday, 19 February) it was at 3.7m.

City of York Council continues to work closely with the York and North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum, which includes police and fire services as well as North Yorkshire County Council, Met Office and Environment Agency.

Skeldergate reopened today after the waters receded. That follows Fetter Lane, Baille Hill, Knavesmire Road and Fordlands Road reopening.

Leader of the council Keith Aspden said teams were visiting residents in flood-risk areas “to assess their needs and give the latest advice and information and I would like to thank residents for their patience and support as the city deals with storms on consecutive weekends”.

Another York road closed by floodwater

City of York Council says that Knavesmire Road is now closed to traffic by floodwater.

These pictures by David Dunning show the water covering the road.

Knavesmire Road

York firefighters called to car stuck in floodwater

A timely reminder from the fire service.

Some pictures of the river as it peaked today

Looking over to the Kings Arms. Photographs: Richard McDougall

These pictures of the River Ouse were taken today by YorkMix photographer Richard McDougall.

They were taken around the time the river hit its peak. Hopefully it’s all downhill from here.

This high and no higher… Dame Judi Dench Walk shortly before 11am on Monday
The Grand Opera House took precautions but escaped the floodwaters
Woodsmill Quay and the Lowther
The flood barriers do their job

Flood level forecast lowered – ‘We’re really relieved’ says council leader

It looks more and more like York has dodged a bullet.

The latest prediction for the peak level of the River Ouse is 4.6m, below the level that would overcome the city’s defences.

City of York Council leader Keith Aspden said:

  • We were really relieved to hear from the Environment Agency this afternoon the revised prediction for the river level to 4.6m.

    And the city’s defences are 4.8m.


He said the council had done all it could over the weekend to prepare. Now it was time to recognise that the floodwaters are still here, “but also looking to the future in terms of making a case to government and the Environment Agency for more certainty”.

  • With climate change it can’t just be about flood defences to stop the water.

    We’re going to have to look at reducing the amount of water. So for example, work upstream, landscaping, as well as flood defences.

    For the Environment Agency the big challenge is you need to spend the money that you’ve been given by the government. But you also need to help individual householders.

    For too long a lot of this work has been too slow. This is another big reminder about why in cities like York we need to speed up that work.

Four roads remain closed in York

Underlining the fact that York is very much O4B (open for business) is that only four roads are closed by the flooding. They are:

  • Skeldergate
  • B1222 Naburn Lane
  • Main Street, Nether Poppleton
  • Acaster Lane.

Millennium Bridge now inaccessible

The Millennium Bridge is out of bounds for the time being.

At 8.46am Kate Ravilious from the York Cycle Campaign tweeted that it was no longer accessible to pedestrians and cyclists:

That means all of the riverside walking and cycling paths are out of bounds for now. This is from Is it flooded?, the footpath guide created by Richard Lane that we reported on yesterday.

‘If it goes above 4.8m some areas will experience flooding.’

Cllr Paula Widdowson

City of York Council executive member for the environment Cllr Paula Widdowson was on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning.

She told presenter Justin Webb: “The city of York is at the confluence of two rivers. We’re used to flooding – it floods two, three, four times a year in our city.

“We have all of our operations in process. All of the pumps, the flood defences, are all up and running and have been since two or three days before Storm Ciara.

“And the city is well and truly open for business.

“In fact we’ve had significant numbers over the weekend enjoying our Viking Festival.”


He asked her if she was concerned about what happens next.

  • Of course we’re concerned about later today. The Environment Agency are forecasting that the river will get up to 4.8m.

    At 4.8m our defences hold. If it goes above 4.8m there are some areas where we will experience flooding.

    We are very prepared to cope with it. You know the stories from York – and we have learned all of our lessons from York.

    Our operations teams have absolutely worked wonders. They’ve been working 24/7 for nearly ten, 12, days now. And they’ll continue to do so.

Rachael Maskell: ‘The barriers are holding, which is good news’

York Central MP Rachael Maskell at Tower Gardens this morning. Photograph: YorkMix

York Central MP Rachael Maskell was out early this morning looking at the river levels.

She told YorkMix: “We think we’ve got about another half metre for the river to rise through the day.

“But the barriers from what I can see are holding, which is good news.

“People obviously need to keep themselves safe. That river’s incredibly dangerous. It’s contaminated as well. So don’t go near near the river.”

She described this morning as “that moment of anticipation. It’s waiting to see what happens later in the day.”

As regards the River Foss, the Foss Barrier and other defences were working “so people in that catchment should have a sigh of relief today”.

People are very stressed
Ms Maskell has been talking to residents in high-risk areas. “People are very stressed – the anticipation not knowing what’s coming,” she said.

“Some of the communications were a bit lagging – people were out buying pumps and sandbags, and then to find that a barrier appeared at the end of the road. So I think we can learn from some of that.”


She said people were rightly angry that resilience measures had not been put in place, four years after the Boxing Day floods.

  • My job when I go back is to put the pressure on government again. Things like insurance still needs sorting out for leaseholders and businesses.

    And there are other things that need putting in place – not least the upper catchment management, which will really stop the amount of water coming downstream in the first place.

And the MP praised York for working together during a tough week.

“I think the city’s come together incredibly well. The council, the Environment Agency, the police and other agencies working very closely, looking out for vulnerable individuals at this time.

“So I would say it’s been a good operation. And most importantly, the residents themselves, they’ve come out and supported one another and worked together in their communities to make sure everyone else is safe.”

There are currently 10 flood warnings in and around York

An update on the flood warnings. As at 7.55am, the Flood Information Service had issued 10 flood warnings in and around York.

A flood warning means, ‘flooding is expected – immediate action required’.

They are:

There are also six flood alerts – ‘flooding is possible’ – which you can see here.

BBC Breakfast report from city with York Rescue Boat

BBC Breakfast’s Jayne McCubbin has been reporting live from York this morning.

She talked to David Wilson from York Rescue Boat about his team’s readiness to help should the flooding get worse.

He told Jayne:

  • The river’s got another half metre to rise throughout the day.

    We’re concerned for some of the low-lying properties but, all the rest of it, York’s still open for business.

It’s looking hopeful that York will escape major flooding

Sources: Flood Information Service

The latest update issued at 8am by the Flood Information service shows:

  • the River Ouse level in the city centre is at 4.38m
  • it is expected to peak at 4.5m at 10.45am today (Monday, 17 February).

You can see our picture gallery of the river this morning here.

Floods transport latest 2: Bus operators accept each others’ tickets

Photograph: YorkMix

Bus operators in York have teamed up to accept each other’s tickets from Monday (17 February) to help people hit by disruption caused by flooding in and around the city.

The scheme will cover all routes within the York A1237 ring road until Tuesday evening, when it will be reviewed against information and updates from authorities, the Environment Agency and weather forecasters.

The operators are: Arriva Yorkshire, York Pullman, Reliance, Transdev York, Connexions, East Yorkshire Buses and First York.

Speaking on behalf of the York Quality Bus Partnership, MD of First York Marc Bichtemann said:

  • All operators have agreed to this initiative, which is a great example of how we can work together to help customers.

    It is very likely that flooding will affect a number of routes and this is simple and sensible action we can take together to help people deal with adverse conditions on the roads around York.

All ticket types will be accepted including digital products on smartphones and pre-paid smartcards.

“In agreeing to do this all operators are also able to support the huge efforts of our drivers, who often go above and beyond in already difficult conditions,” said Marc Bichtemann.

Floods transport latest 1: The York roads that are closed

According to City of York Council these are the roads affected:

  • Clementhorpe has a flood defence closing the road just after the junction with River Street
  • Peckitt Street is now a dead end due to the defences.
  • The B1222 in Naburn is now closed with signage in place, due to floodwater. The no42 Arriva bus service will now be diverted.
  • Skeldergate has been closed this afternoon (Sunday 16 February) for several hours while the EA deploys additional sandbags to the area. This will reopen as soon as possible
  • Main Street in Nether Poppleton will close this afternoon (Sunday 16 February) due to river flooding. The no10 First bus service will be diverted.
  • Millennium Bridge will be closed as water levels rise, and will be monitored closely

The council added:

  • Drivers, pedestrians and cyclists are asked not to enter or travel through flood water.

    We have tankers on standby for any surface water flooding incidents that occur this evening. We cleared several fallen trees yesterday and pumped clear some surface water.

Council update: 4,000 sandbags deployed, York open for business

The council has pumps in place at Tower Gardens, Clementhorpe and Fulford. Photograph: City of York Council on Twitter

City of York Council has issued an update on the flood defence situation in the city.

It reiterates that the Environment Agency says levels on the River Ouse in York are set to peak on Tuesday afternoon (18 February) with current forecasts showing a potential river level of up to 4.8 metres.

These forecast levels may continue to change as the impact of overnight rain makes its way into water channels.

So far the council has:

  • deployed a total of 4,000 sandbags and 200 one tonne sandbags across the city to help protect the most vulnerable properties
  • worked with communities at Naburn to build defences and provided 480 sandbags and 21 one tonne sandbags
  • spoken to residents and built a new defence at Butcher Terrace, Cameron Grove and Terry Street in Clementhorpe
  • Clementhorpe defences have been raised (staffed 24/7 with additional sandbags provided if needed)
  • worked with the communities around Alma Terrace and Holly Street in Fishergate
  • put all flood defences in place and, since Storm Ciara the council has created new flood defences at Bishopthorpe and strengthened the Peckitt Street and Tower Gardens defences (Tower Gardens is being staffed 24/7 with additional sandbags provided if needed)
  • additional pumps and defences have been placed at the A19 and Germany Beck junction.

Council leader Keith Aspden said:

  • We’ll continue to spend the weekend strengthening our flood defences to protect as many homes and businesses as possible.

    York is very much open for business and as we move into half-term week, we’re encouraging everyone to visit our fantastic city, which always has much to offer.

More pictures of York’s flood defences

Rachael Maskell MP inspects the flood defences on Clementhorpe, York. Photograph: Cllr Jonny Crawshaw on Twitter

Cllr Jonny Crawshaw has been out and about around South Bank today.

He took these picture of the flood defences in Butcher Terrace, Clementhorpe and Cameron Grove.

Environment Secretary visits York to assess the flood defences

Environment Secretary George Eustice at the Foss Barrier. Photograph: Defra on Twitter

The new Environment Secretary visited York today (Sunday), to see the efforts being made to minimise flooding.

He met residents, councillors and Environment Agency staff to talk about tackling flooding. He also visited the Foss Barrier, such a key component in York’s defences. The chair of the Environment Agency Emma Howard Boyd accompanied the minister.

Mr Eustice, appointed by Boris Johnson in the last Cabinet reshuffle, also talked to York Central MP Rachael Maskell.

“He came to York to learn about what’s been happening across the city – obviously concerned with Storm Dennis and the impact the flooding’s going to have across the city,” she told Minster FM’s David Dunning.

“We were reflecting what’s happened over four years back to him, and the fact that a lot of the resilience measures we were expecting haven’t been put in place.

“But we obviously praised the Foss Barrier, the fact that it’s working well this evening is good news.”

Ms Maskell said she had arranged a futher meeting with Mr Eustice in Westminster.

Videos: More flood defences arrive

Minster FM head of news David Dunning has been out and about in the city centre.

He’s captured the latest from the front line of York’s flood defences.

Urgent appeal for sandbags to protect RSPCA animal home in York

The RSPCA Animal Home on Landing Lane. Photograph: RSPCAYork / Facebook

The next victim of the floods in York could be the RSPCA Animal Home.

The rescue kennels are next to the River Ouse on Landing Lane. All donations will be warmly welcomed.

If you can help, take sandbags to the home. All the contact details are on the home’s website.

Live flood gauges for the River Ouse and Foss

Here are the live gauges for the Foss and Ouse from the Gauge Map website.

They show the river levels and are automatically updated every hour.

River could peak at 5m

The River Ouse is now being forecasted to peak between 4.8m and 5m.

In a Tweet the Environment Agency said:

  • We are expecting the River Ouse in York to peak around 4.8-5m on Tuesday morning. Floodgates are closed in York and the #FossBarrier is operational.

    We are closely monitoring the situation. Please avoid using low lying footpaths and roads near local rivers

Work continues on York flood defences

Work on the flood defences. Photograph: Gwen Swinburn on Twitter

This picture was taken by Gwen Swinburn at about 1.30pm today.

More work is underway to bolster the city centre’s flood defences as the river moves towards a predicted peak of 4.8m on Tuesday morning.

2pm update on York river level

This from the Flood Water Information Service regarding the River Ouse in York city centre:

Latest recorded level 3.64m at 2:00pm Sunday 16 February 2020.

Cycle and footpath guide

Based on people’s experiences shared on Twitter Richard Lane has created a guide to which walking and cycling routes are open and which are closed in York.

Click on the link in the Tweet to see it.

Multi-agency team managing response to Storm Dennis

The response to Storm Dennis in York and North Yorkshire is being managed via the area’s Local Resilience Forum.

Led by North Yorkshire County Council, it also includes North Yorkshire Police, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, City of York Council, Northern Power Grid, the Environment Agency, the Met Office, Mountain Rescue teams and the Coast Guard.

Superintendent Sam Millar of North Yorkshire Police said:

  • By sharing real time information and the latest forecasts and impacts we have helped communities to be prepared and it’s inspiring to see how they have responded. Sandbagging, offers of loans of 4×4 vehicles, contingency planning and community spirit have been evident in many areas.

    We are not out of the woods yet so please continue to help us by looking after yourself, your property and your communities and keeping up to date with the latest information.

    Particularly important is the need to adhere to road closed signage. We are still getting reports that some people are driving past them or removing them.

Drivers urged to stay out of flood water after North Yorkshire rescue

Photograph: North Yorkshire Police

The emergency services are urging drivers not to chance flooded roads.

Several roads in the county remain underwater.

Group manager at North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Lee Smith, said:

  • There may be a view that because the rain is easing away the problem is over – that’s not the case and the impact of the rainfall will continue to become apparent over the next hours and days.

    We appeal to the public to continue to stay safe and to heed all warning signs and messaging.

It comes as Tadcaster fire crews were called to an incident at Cattal this afternoon:

Latest forecast puts predicted peak of River Ouse at 4.8m

The Flood Warning Information Service issued an update at 11.45am today (Sunday).

This put the River Ouse level at 3.55m.

And the good news in – the forecasted peak has been reduced. It is now expected to reach its peak on Tuesday morning, at 4.8m – this from Cllr Jonny Crawshaw:

Here’s a Sunday morning update

The levels at 9am. Image: Flood Warning Information Service

Here’s an update of what we know so far about Storm Dennis and the possible impact on York.

City is open
At the moment the flooding is still limited to the river banks.

The city centre is unaffected and open for business with lots of half term activities to enjoy.

River Ouse levels to rise
City of York Council set out an update on Saturday night to say that the heavy rainfall had caused the Ouse to start rising again.

This means:

  • a potential river level of up to 5.2m
  • a worst-case level of 5.4m – matching the all-time record of November 2000
  • the Ouse is expected to peak on Monday evening (17 February)
  • as at 9am on Sunday the river was at 3.42m.

The council has deployed more than 1,000 sandbags and is focusing this morning on the highest risk properties in Naburn, Clementhorpe, Fishergate and Bishopthorpe.

Updated weather warnings
There’s an updated yellow warning for wind for Yorkshire and Humber, from 10am today (Sunday) to 11am tomorrow. Gusts of 50-60mph are likely.

An amber warning for rain remains in force over York till 3pm today. The forecast is for a largely dry afternoon between 2pm and 6pm, with some showers in the evening.

9.30pm update: River could peak at 5.4m

The council issued an update shortly before 9.30pm this evening.

It said:

The Environment Agency (EA) has confirmed levels on the river Ouse in York are forecast to be close to the levels in 2000. Current forecasts from the EA are showing a potential river level of up to 5.2metres and a worst case level of a potential 5.4metres.

The EA expects the river to peak on the evening of Monday 17 February. Conditions remain unsettled with further rain forecast over the next 48 hours which could result in changes to the levels and peak timings. The Environment Agency river forecasters will continue to monitor the situation 24/7 and provide further updates.

You can read our full story here.

Video: Floodwaters cut off Cawood Road

Here’s one road that is impassable – the video was taken by York Dweller @jbrownridge on Twitter and posted shortly before 6pm on Saturday (15 February).

There’s signage in place about 50m before this stretch.

According to North Yorkshire County Council: Cawood Road is closed Stillingfleet (at crossroads of Church Hill, Stillingfleet) to Cawood Bridge and also from Mount Pleasant Farm to Kellfield.

You can see the full list of the county’s road closures here.