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

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

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.