Press release

Communities in Cumbria and Yorkshire warned by Environment Agency to prepare for further flooding

Foss Barrier now operational as York flood water recedes.

Creating temporary flood defence on the River Aire in Leeds
Creating temporary flood defence on the River Aire in Leeds

This news item is not being updated. Read Winter flooding 2015: community support for current information.

Communities across Cumbria and Yorkshire are being warned to prepare for further significant flooding from Wednesday (30 December) through to Friday (1 January).

Heavy rain is forecast for Northern England on Wednesday and with the ground still saturated and river levels at record highs, there is the potential for further significant flooding especially in Cumbria.

York’s Foss Barrier is now operational following emergency work and flood waters in the city are receding, although the community should remain vigilant with levels expected to rise again later in the week. Environment Agency operational staff and the army worked around the clock to get the Foss Barrier pumps repaired after high river levels flooded the pump room and affected the power system. A Chinook helicopter was used to drop portable power generators onto the barrier’s roof yesterday (Monday).

As of 12.00 on 29 December there are 9 severe flood warnings, 42 flood warnings and 49 flood alerts in place across England and Wales. Flood warnings are updated on the Environment Agency website every 15 minutes.

The country has faced an extraordinary period of severe weather and flooding since the start of December. Cumbria has faced the wettest December on record. Across the north of England over the past week more than 6,700 homes have flooded as river levels reached all time highs.

Environment Agency teams remain out in force deploying demountable defences and sandbags to reinforce existing defences, repairing damaged defences, clearing river blockages, monitoring water levels and sending out flood warnings. Environment Agency staff from across the country have been sent to provide support in affected areas.

Craig Woolhouse, Director of Incident Management at the Environment Agency, said:

“Our hearts go out to those that have been flooded. Environment Agency teams continue to work around the clock in difficult conditions, to protect homes, communities and land.

“The weather continues to be hugely challenging, with more rain threatening to cause further flooding in Cumbria and Yorkshire on Wednesday and through to Friday. We urge communities and visitors, particularly in Cumbria to prepare and not to walk or drive through flood water.

“The public should continue to listen to and co-operate with the emergency services, particularly those in the areas where severe flood warnings have been issued. People can sign up to receive free flood warnings, check their flood risk and keep up to date with the latest situation on the Environment Agency website and on social media using #floodaware.”

Published 29 December 2015