As it happened – Flooding updates for York and North Yorkshire, 21 January 2021

Thursday, 21 January, 2021

Updates as Storm Christoph causes flooding in York and North Yorkshire. Got info? Let us know on Twitter, or at [email protected]

All the latest flood warnings are here

Key updates

Man rescued after five hours stuck in van in floodwater

Firefighters have rescued a man who had driven into floodwaters at Buttercrambe.

He had sat in his van for more than five hours before calling for assistance.

Meanwhile Ryedale District Council sent out this message: “Please respect road closures and do NOT try to go through flood waters tonight.

“Our colleagues at North Yorkshire Fire have told us of people trying to cycle, drive and walk through flooding in Norton and Malton earlier today. Don’t put yourself in danger and stay out of flood water.”

Residents in 130 homes in York given the chance to evacuate

This from Chloe, the Local Democracy Report for York.

The Foss and Ouse: Latest levels and forecasts

The latest update from the Environment Agency at 5.15pm puts the River Ouse in York city centre at 4.55m.

It is forecasting the river will peak at 4.73m at 5.45am tomorrow (Friday, 22 January). That’s well above the level where some flooding in properties is possible.

But it is also well short of the 5.2m-5.4m which would cause serious problems.

The graph for the River Ouse Viking Recorder

Meanwhile, an update of the River Foss issued at 5.15pm shows the latest level at 2.73m.

The graph for the River Foss at Huntington

Updates from Selby

Here’s the latest from Malton

Plea to stay off Rawcliffe Ings – as questions are asked about sluice gate

If you’re thinking of going for your daily exercise on Rawcliffe Ings, please don’t. That’s the message from York Rescue Boat this evening.

It comes as questions are asked about why the sluice gate there hasn’t been opened.

David Sempers contacted the York Press with this observation: “It just looks like a big, long waterfall.

“There’s a metal sluice gate at the Skelton end of Clifton Ings. Normally they open that to let water into the Ings, then when the Ings are full they close it. When the river level goes down again there’s another gate at the Clifton Bridge end. They open this to let the water out.

“If they aren’t opening the gate to let water into the Ings it means there will be more water downstream. I just can’t understand why they haven’t done it.”

Video: Floodwater on Huntington Road

This is the floodwater which is now across Huntington Road.

It’s under the bridge close to Ramsay Close.

Cars can get through at the moment with care. The Foss is thought to be at or near its peak, so it’s hoped that the conditions won’t deteriorate further.

Cars going through the floodwater on Huntington Road. Photograph: YorkMix

Video: Water pouring over the flood bank at Kelfield Ings

Here’s an update from Cawood in the Selby district, from Alex Brown.

Water overtopping the Rawcliffe flood bank

Water overtopping Rawcliffe flood bank today. Photograph: Louise Sharp

Here’s an update from York councillor Darryl Smalley.

“A council engineer has been out to Clifton/Rawcliffe Ings. They have reported that whilst the water is overtopping, it is not causing much damage to the embankment.

“They will continue to monitor it. The gate was opened this morning to maximise the use of the Ings storage area.

“If the embankment is being damaged due to overtopping, it will not increase flood risk to any properties. It has been damaged in the past and the council will go in after the levels reduce to carry out repair work.”

River Ouse levels are expected to rise quickly to about 4.7m tonight, he said.

As posted earlier, a Facebook Live Q&A on the floods is taking place at 5pm tonight. The panel will be discussing flooding preparations, what to do when river levels rise and how to stay safe.

There’s more on

Reader Louise Sharp, who sent the picture above of the Ouse overtopping Rawcliffe flood bank, said: “Rawcliffe residents have been assured that should the bank give way properties are not at risk.”

Situation ‘easing’ in Old Malton

Malton Town Council’s Martin Dales sends us this update: “Last night there was rapid increase in flooding in Old Malton.

“There were and still are seven pumps working hard to move water over the flood defences into the River Derwent.

“A multi-agency response including Malton’s North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue ensured pumps were in place and properties threatened sandbagged with the seventh one arriving, fitted and working by 2.30am today.

“Grateful thanks to the 20+ front-line staff involved as well as all those working in support in the background.

“The situation today is far better now and homes and businesses are not under threat. However, with County Bridge currently closed – the River Derwent is less than foot short of the level in pre-flood defences 1999 flood – a lot of traffic is being displaced onto the B1257 through Old Malton so do please drive carefully as work remains in progress.”

Work to prevent flooding in Old Malton

Fire crews back in the Tadcaster area today

This from North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service’s Bob Hoskins:

Pictures: Floodwater on Bridge Street, Tadcaster

The drains caused flooding in Bridge Street in Tadcaster last night.

The fire service arrived with pumps to protect properties that were at risk of flooding

Tadcaster Community Action Group published these pictures on Facebook.

Flooded fields behind St Peter’s

These photos from Daniel James show fields behind St Peter’s School in York completely flooded.

Football and rugby pitches are inundated. But the water’s not going anywhere else.

Daniel said: “The flood bank here was strengthened in the autumn so all looks OK at the moment.”

Photograph: Daniel James
No chance of a game of football here. Photograph: Daniel James

‘A fantastic job’

We’ve now posted a fuller version of the last update, with the latest news for York. It includes Cllr Paula Widdowson praising the council teams efforts:

  • We know how to work a flood now. We know what to put in place. Unfortunately, we’re very well practised at it. And it’s working like clockwork, they have done a fantastic job.

York flood briefing: Foss – no homes inundated yet; Ouse – defences holding up

We have just come out of a media briefing organised by City of York Council on the latest position on the floods.

We’ll post a full story shortly, but here are some of the main points.

River Foss

  • CYC were alerted at 5.21am to the potential of properties flooding in the upper Foss basin
  • it is the intensity of the water flow, particularly around Strensall, that has caused the flash flooding there
  • the lower Foss basin is not affected and the Foss Barrier is working well
  • the Foss has reached 2.67m – around about the peak of what is being predicted this time
  • that affects about 100 properties in the Strensall to Yearsley Baths area, “but that’s principally gardens and outlying buildings with minimal levels of flooding expected within properties”
  • no in-property flooding has been reported as yet
  • “we don’t expect any further impacts on the Foss because that rainfall in the upper basin has obviously moved on”.

River Ouse

  • the Environment Agency expects the Ouse in York to peak at 4.76m at 3am tomorrow (Friday)
  • “that is within the flood plan for York in terms of our own defences of properties, so we’re not anticipating wide-scale flooding of properties at that level”
  • but it does require the temporary defences now in place
  • flooding at this level is set to affect just a handful of properties such as those at King’s Staith
  • if it went above 4.8 or 4.9m that would affect Peckitt Street
  • they are hopeful that the A19 near Germany Beck, Fulford, won’t be flooded
  • only when the Ouse gets “around about the 5.2 to 5.4 level, that’s when we become very concerned about the numbers [of flooded properties] jumping up exponentially”.

Hotels are on standby to take people impacted by the Foss flooding – but that evacuation plan is unlikely to be needed.

There was great praise for the City of York Council teams who have done all the defence work in Covid secure bubbles.

Properties next to the Ouse this morning. Photograph: Richard McDougall

Drone picture shows extent of the Foss flood

This picture was taken today by PC Paul Beckwith, chief pilot for North Yorkshire Police drone operations.

It shows the extent of the Foss flooding today around Strensall. The message – be careful, and don’t enter the floodwaters, “it is deeper than normal in a lot of places”.

The Foss from above around Strensall. Photograph: NYPolice Drones on Twitter

Question York council leaders about flooding

Here’s how the Ouse is looking in York today – 11 pix

Our team have been out and about checking out the rivers in the city this morning.

The River Ouse is very high, and still rising. And although the persistent rain stopped early on, York has since had another heavy shower.

Here’s what it’s looking like right now, courtesy of photographers Richard McDougall and David Dunning.

Clifton Bridge