Roads closed and defences in place: York readies itself as river levels approach peak

Andrew and Ray prepare an office on King Street which was inundated in 2015. Photographs: David Dunning of Minster FM

After the heavy rainfall of Storm Ciara, York’s River Ouse is approaching its highest level for a three years.

It is due to rise to reach between 4.35m and 4.5m at around 6am on Tuesday (11 February), with Tower Street and Skeldergate the streets most likely to be affected.

The Environment Agency says: “The Foss Barrier has been closed. Please avoid using low lying footpaths near local watercourses and plan driving routes to avoid low lying roads near rivers, which may be flooded.”

The city is sensibly taking precautions. Skeldergate was closed to traffic this evening.

The Bonding Warehouse is surrounded by water from the Ouse
Temporary flood defences are already in place at Clementhorpe, Tower Gardens, Tower Place and Peckitt Street.

City of York Council has also erected the temporary bridge at City Mills/Skeldergate.

St George’s Field car park and Rowntree Park have closed and the Esplanade will be monitored with CCTV to make sure car owners are contacted to move vehicles.

‘Business as usual’

A car submerged in St George’s Field car park
Councillor Paula Widdowson, executive member for climate change, said: “Residents in areas at risk are encouraged to consider deploying their own personal flood protection measures recognising the value of testing equipment installation, and move their vehicles if in areas likely to flood.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and have people on the ground operating pumps and checking defences. Riverside paths will be closed for some time and cleaned once the water level has subsided.

“For York, this is very much business as usual.”

Skeldergate is closed

Water encroaching on Cumberland Street
Flood defences in place

Councillor Andrew Waller, executive member for economy and strategic planning said:

“Having already taken sensible precautions based on the predicted river levels, the city remains very much open for business.

“With half term rapidly approaching, we are looking forward to welcoming visitors from all over the world to enjoy the Viking festival.”