The North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum – which brings together all the organisations supporting flood defence efforts in the county – is delivering a range of help to people affected by rising waters in Hirst Courtney.
The Environment Agency, Selby District Council and North Yorkshire Council staff are on the ground delivering sandbags and coordinating support for residents affected by the rising waters on the River Aire. North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has also been helping protect people living in the area. Another band of rain and snow overnight and this morning has led to river levels rising here and across the Selby district, as the water makes it way down from higher ground.
These organisations have been actively supporting people along the River Aire over the past fortnight, but particularly in the last 24-hours with over 1,000 sandbags delivered to protect homes. Where these go is being prioritised based on the greatest risk of flooding and we ask that people work with us to ensure these remain in the places where they’re needed most.
The Environment Agency has set up a number of pumps around the washlands. These were set up after Storm Ciara had filled the washlands and were used to maximise the storage capacity available in the washlands ahead of Storm Dennis. They'll continue to operate the pumps to create capacity in the washlands during this period of unsettled weather.
The Agency will start pumping when the River Aire levels have dropped sufficiently and is no longer filling the washlands at West Marsh. This is because pumping water out of the washlands when they are filling from the River Aire does not lower washland levels or create capacity.
A number of roads in the area remain closed. Click here for full details.
Speaking on behalf of the Resilience Forum, Chief Executive of Selby District Council, Janet Waggott, explained, “A number of homes have been directly affected by the rising waters and unfortunately we’ve seen some properties flood. But our work to protect homes in the area has limited the number affected between Brotherton and Carlton over recent days.
“The washlands at Hirst Courtney are an important flood storage area for the River Aire and the run-off areas for water have been working as they should. However, we’ve seen some of the highest-ever recorded levels in these washlands.
“We’ll continue to monitor the situation closely, working alongside the Met Office and others to understand how the weather over the next few days could affect the area. In the meantime, all the organisations involved will continue to have staff on the ground in the area to support people affected.”
People directly affected are being offered support, including the setting up of a rest centre nearby. Resilience Forum teams continue to contact those affected in person.
Anyone affected by flooding and in need to help should contact the police in the first instance on 101 – if in the case of an emergency to call 999.