Flooding situation in York and North Yorkshire slowly improving – but alert likely to remain into weekend if forecasted rain arrives on Wednesday.
Multi-agency efforts have ensured the flooding situation in York and North Yorkshire is starting to slowly improve and the immediate risk to people and property has reduced.
The Environment Agency confirmed this morning (Monday 28 December 2015) that the water has remained below the flood defences on the River Ouse at York, Cawood and Selby.
The army has been drafted more than 600 soldiers to support the local authorities to bolster flood defences with thousands of sandbags. A military Chinook helicopter has also been assisting the Environment Agency to carry out emergency repairs to the River Foss barrier.
The troops have also helped the police, firefighters and search and rescue team members to check hundreds of homes and provide reassurance to concerned residents. This effort is continuing today with a priority on re-visiting the most vulnerable people and properties and outlying rural communities.
However, with between 20mm and 40mm of rain forecasted on Wednesday, it is likely the emergency flood response and public safety measures will remain in place as we head into the weekend.
Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick, of North Yorkshire Police, said:
The emergency services and our partner agencies, including the army, have done a tremendous job in responding to the devastation caused by the floods.
250 people were evacuated from their homes and 115 were placed in rest centres overnight. Of these there are currently 20 people in the rest centre in York.
The top priority of everyone concerned is to keep people safe from harm. To achieve this, we are re-visiting the most vulnerable people and properties to provide advice and reassurance. With support from the army search and rescue volunteers, many of whom have travelled as far afield as Devon and Cornwall to assist, we are also focusing our attention on the many rural communities around the York and Selby areas to ensure assistance is provided where it is needed.
Over the coming hours and days as river levels start to recede, it is important that residents and visitors continue to take notice of safety restrictions, particularly on bridges in the York, Tadcaster, Boroughbridge and Malton area.
DCC Madgwick added:
Just because the water levels are going down it does not mean that the bridges are safe to cross. It is vitally important that people are sensible and take heed of the closure signs, otherwise they are putting themselves and others in great danger. The routes will only be re-opened to the public once a full inspection has been carried out.
Prime Minister David Cameron visited North Yorkshire Police’s Force Control Room this morning (Monday 28 December) where he received a briefing on the flooding situation by the multi-agency Silver Command.
The latest flood warning information can be accessed via the Gov.uk website https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/map
You can also follow @EnvAgencyYNE and #floodaware on Twitter for the latest updates. Or call the Floodline on 0345 9881188.