Teams on standby as river could rise to within 10cm of breaching flood defences

Sandbags on Tower Street. Photographs: YorkMix
25 Feb 2020 @ 5.04 pm
| News

Teams are on standby to support residents and businesses as river levels rise perilously close to the top of York’s flood defences.

The latest advice from the Environment Agency is that the River Ouse is forecast to peak tomorrow morning (26 February) at around 5am – most likely at 4.6m, but a worst case scenario of 4.7m.


City of York Council says this remains within the levels the sand bag defences can withstand – up to 4.8m.

Frontline teams have been working 24/7 in shifts since Storm Ciara and are continuing monitor the situation around the clock – working closely with partners including the Environment Agency.

Leader remains confident

A pump at work on Peckitt Street

The council has so far deployed over 6,000 sandbags and has around 25 pumps operating across the city.

Council leader Keith Aspden said:

  • Our flood defences remain in place protecting the city, and we expect levels to peak tomorrow morning.

    We are as confident that the levels expected by the Environment Agency today, though slightly higher than last week, are within the levels we can defend.

The council is working with Yorkshire Water following reports of sewage on Fordlands Road in Fulford.

It is pumping water from the area and sending additional tankers to draw off sewage water.

Praised staff

Cumberland Street is partially flooded

Cllr Aspden praised staff who have been working tirelessly since Storm Ciara struck two and a half weeks ago.

“I’d like to give a huge thank you to our teams and our partners for their commitment and dedication to the city over the past few weeks.

“Thank you also to residents for their patience and understanding, and for pulling together to support each other and our teams during their work.”

He said residents in at-risk areas were sent letters over the weekend to keep them informed that all measures are in place and expected to hold.

““We are continuing to closely monitor the situation and the city remains open for business.”