Ryedale District Council is urging the public to keep supporting the multi-agency efforts to manage flooding in Malton, Norton and Old Malton, following reports that members of the public tampered with pump pipes and road closure cones on Saturday night.
A multi-agency response team has been operating 24 hours a day for the past several days, to manage the impact of flood and ground water in the towns. Twenty nine pumps are now in operation in the area.
Although the River Derwent has now peaked and the water level is falling, ground water is still high and expected to remain so for some time.
Response agencies are describing the situation as stable but fragile, and flood management measures are expected to remain in place for some time.
However, response workers on the ground have reported that members of the public moved piping attached to active water pumps during Saturday night, and also shifted road cones in order to get past a road closure.
An Environment Agency spokesperson said:
“Water levels of the River Derwent are slowly reducing, but ground water levels will remain high for some time, so the pumping operation will remain in place for as long as required.
“A huge thank you goes out to the local community who have been really supportive. However it’s incredibly important that people continue to adhere to road closures and steer clear of the pumps and pipes so that we can continue to reduce local flood risk.”
Keane Duncan, Leader of Ryedale District Council, said:
“We’ve had reports that members of the public moved water pump piping, and also moved cones on County Bridge which is closed for safety reasons. Fortunately it doesn’t appear to have had any serious consequences, but it could have been a different story.
“Response crews are working incredibly hard on the ground right now, and having to revisit sites to check the positioning of pipes, or put road closure cones back in place, just adds to the pressure.
“The last few days have been difficult and disruptive for many people, but on behalf of all the response agencies working in the area right now, and all the people whose homes depend on the flood management plan, I am urging all members of the public to keep helping us at this challenging time.
“Pipes, pumps and road closures are there to keep people safe and protect homes and businesses. Please leave them in place.”
People can check their flood risk, sign up for free flood warnings and keep up-to-date with the latest situation at Gov.uk or follow @EnvAgencyYNE on Twitter for the latest food updates.
A round-up of local information is also available on www.ryedale.gov.uk/flooding
Road closure information is available at: https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/roadworks-road-closures-and-diversions