A huge effort to save Norton and parts of Malton from a flooding disaster pays off

23 Jan 2021 @ 6.32 am
| News

What has been described by locals as a ‘heroic effort’ by the Environment Agency and the North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue teams together with Ryedale District Council staff and volunteers like Scarborough and Ryedale Mountain Rescue Team, has saved Norton and Malton from a serious flooding.

The leader of the district council said work on the ground that prevented the worse case scenario from occurring

Residents said they were very worried last night when the Agency updated their flood warning for the River Derwent (Friday).

River levels will remain high through the weekend.

Work went on overnight to deal with an issue in one area of the flood defences and tonight (Saturday) that continues.

Flood warnings are also still in place for Mill Beck and Old Malton

The flood level of the River Derwent has been fluctuating and the issue of groundwater levels was also a factor.

The level on the River Rye at Howe Bridge was 4.99m and has now peaked. It has been a very challenging situation.

Council Leader Keane Duncan made this statement at around 10pm last night:

“The area covered by this latest warning is significantly larger than the initial warning around Welham Road.

It includes the railway station, St Nicholas Street, Church Street and parts of Scarborough Road.

I met tonight (Friday) with officers coordinating the flood response in Norton.

Please be reassured that concern appears to be limited to one area of the defences.

Situation is fast moving, but there is a plan to contain issues and right now everything appears stable.

Stay safe!”

Speaking on YorkMix Radio early on Saturday morning Cllr Duncan said he could confirm that the river level was going down slowly, although he accepted that could change again.

This evening (Saturday) he added:

“A massive thank you to all involved in working to protect our towns from flooding. Decisive action in face of the emergency has been able to prevent the significant and widespread damage feared.

A big well done to staff from @RyedaleDC, @NorthYorksFire and @EnvAgencyYNE.

I saw first hand the work on the ground that prevented the worse case scenario from occurring and just how tough it was for everyone involved.

This period has been the most challenging for us since the flood defences were put in.

I visited affected areas once again this morning to thank workers personally and speak to residents.

Work will continue overnight and over coming days to support anyone in need. On behalf of the community, thank you again to all who played a part.”

Kirkham Abbey area – @NorthYorkswx

The Environment Agency said this at 5pm(Saturday)

“The flood warning for the River Derwent at Norton remains in force as a result of high river levels following recent heavy rainfall.

River levels have peaked and are falling slowly.

Flooding of property, roads and farmland remains possible.

Sandbags are in place and pumps are operating at the end of Wallsgate Lane.

These will remain in place until river levels have fallen further.

This message will be updated if the situation changes.

No significant rainfall is forecast for the next 24 hours but further unsettled weather is expected next week.

We are closely monitoring the situation.

Please avoid using low lying footpaths, leave space around pumps and around the staff operating them, and do not walk or drive through flood water.”

The pumps in action in Malton. Photograph: North Yorkshire CC on Twitter

Local resident John Gelson who lives in Norton said last night: “Our house is now in the extended warning area so we are keen to understand what’s led to this escalation.

It’s very worying because parts of my street were affected by underground springs in 2000.

So far nobody has been round to say anything to us and our neighbours and ourselves are just waiting to see what happnes next.

We appreciate it’s a warning at this stage of course”

Avoid walking or driving through flood water.

Check the latest flood warning from the Environment Agency here