Press release

Environment Agency warns people to remain vigilant as river levels continue to rise

Communities across North and West Yorkshire are being urged to be prepared for further severe flooding today (27 December) and into Monday.

Environment Agency staff working in Ribchester 26 December.
Environment Agency staff working in Ribchester 26 December.

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

Communities across North and West Yorkshire are being urged to be prepared for further severe flooding today (27 December) and into Monday.

24 severe flood warnings, 128 flood warnings and 75 flood alerts in force across England.

The Environment Agency is advising people across the north of England to check their flood risk, prepare for flooding, particularly if travelling over the Christmas period.

Flooding is expected in York today following prolonged and heavy rainfall on Christmas night and throughout Boxing Day, which has caused river levels to rise. These areas could see further severe impacts from flooding over the coming days. 600 properties in York have been asked to evacuate by the local police force.

Other areas at risk include communities in Lancashire and parts of the River Severn in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and Worcestershire.

Many places have seen record river levels over the past 24 hours, including the River Aire in Leeds, and the rivers Calder and Ribble, affecting places such as Whalley, Hebden Bridge and Ribchester.

Environment Agency teams remain out on the ground 24/7 working closely with emergency services, checking and maintaining flood defences, clearing blockages in watercourses and monitoring river levels. Over the past 2 days temporary defences were set up in Lancashire in St Michaels and Ribchester to reduce the risk of flooding and the the Environment Agency worked with the Army to deploy temporary flood defences and sandbags to communities at risk in Warwick Bridge, Braithwaite and Appleby in Cumbria.

Alison Baptiste, Flood Duty Manager at the Environment Agency, said:

Our thoughts are with all those who have suffered serious flooding to their homes and businesses over Christmas and those who face the risk of further flooding over the coming days.

We still have 24 severe flood warnings, meaning a risk to life, in force and river levels in these areas will continue to rise throughout today and tomorrow. People in these communities should continue to check their flood risk, prepare for flooding, follow the advice from emergency services and never risk driving through flood water.

Environment Agency staff will continue to work around the clock to help reduce the potential impacts of flooding and support those communities affected.

The Met Office confirmed on Christmas Eve that this will be the wettest December on record for Cumbria since records began in 1910. Since the 1 December many areas in Cumbria have experienced more than two and a half times their expected monthly rainfall.

Published 27 December 2015