York dodges a bullet! River peaks below the level that would overcome flood defences

This high and no higher… Dame Judi Dench Walk shortly before 11am on Monday
17 Feb 2020 @ 1.58 pm
| News

And… relax. York survived both Storms Ciara and Dennis and emerged with its flood defences intact.

This afternoon the Environment Agency confirmed that the River Ouse has peaked at around 4.4m.

It needed to reach 4.8m to overtop the defences. Both the agency and City of York Council are continuing to monitor this with the river expected to be high for the next day or two.

City of York Council leader Keith Aspden said:

  • Our incredible teams are continuing to staff flood defences 24/7 and with our partners we are closely monitoring the situation.

    I also want to thank residents for their patience and support as the city deals with storms on consecutive weekends.

    Stories of residents helping our frontline workers, thanking them for their work and on occasion offering them tea and biscuits show what a fantastic and welcoming city we are, one which I am proud to live in.

He said the council continues to remain vigilant and ask that residents do the same and keep safe by staying away from flood water.

York Central MP Rachael Maskell tweeted: “The River Ouse is due to peak around now. Thanks to the Environment Agency and City of York Council⁩ staff and volunteers for all your efforts… and for the rain not falling so hard upstream.”

Flood road closures

Clementhorpe has a flood defence closing the road just after the junction with River Street

Peckitt Street and Tower Place have pumps in place

The B1222 in Naburn is now closed with signage in place, due to floodwater. The no 42 Arriva bus service will now be diverted

Skeldergate remains closed with flood defences in place

Main Street in Nether Poppleton is closed due to river flooding. The no 10 First bus service will be diverted

Acaster Lane is closed

Fordlands Road is now closed

Millennium Bridge is now inaccessible from Hospital Fields Rd and Butcher Terrace

Access from St Oswalds Road to Pumping Station Cottages, York Motor Yacht Club and New Walk Orchard closed.

More work needed

Council leader Keith Aspden and Cllr Darryl Smalley visit flood defences on Peckitt Street. Photograph: York Lib Dems
Both said that more work needed to be done further upstream to stop this happening in future.

Ms Maskell told YorkMix:

  • 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.

Cllr Aspden said: “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.”

In the meantime, the agencies working together in the Local Resilience Forum remain on alert and working to protect the city.

You can read more updates on our flooding live blog here.