BUSINESSES in York’s Tower Street have told how they narrowly escaped being devastated by flooding for a second time in two months.

A row of restaurants, cafés, takeaways and a snooker club all came close to being inundated when the River Ouse rose to 4.53 metres above normal summer levels earlier this week.

Andy Spracklen, co-owner of Ning Malaysian restaurant, said floodwater entered his kitchens, but the restaurant itself – at a slightly higher level – escaped unscathed. A clean-up operation was under way yesterday in the kitchens and the restaurant r-opened last night. But he said something should be done to prevent renewed threats of flooding in future.

Mehmet Yaman, owner of Castle Snooker & Pool Club, had warned he could not survive being flooded a second time. He said the premises escaped, but it had been a “very close shave”. As floodwaters receded yesterday, the A19 at Fulford was re-opened, bringing relief to thousands of motorists who had suffered massive rush hour delays on alternative routes in to and out of the city, such as Hull Road.

But Julie Nash, of Patchwork Childcare in Sutton-on-the-Forest, said their nursery had been more or less cut off through roadworks and floodwater.

She said resurfacing works in Skates Lane meant the nursery was only accessible by one road, but a huge puddle of floodwater which had been there since Monday meant the road was almost impassible.

In Ryedale, floodwaters have cut off the village of Brawby, near Kirkbymoorside, since Monday.

Villager Simon Thackray, who runs The Shed music and poetry venue, said the problem was that drains were backing up and filling the streets with contaminated water.

He said although the water had not got into peoples’ homes villagers were angry because nothing had been done to get rid of the stagnant water.

He said: “We have an antiquated combined sewer here which means that surface rain water mixes in with everything from household drains and whenever we get heavy rain it can’t cope and over runs leaving village streets flooded with contaminated water.”

Brawby, with 165 residents, sits between the point where the River Seven converges with the River Rye.

County Bridge, which spans the river between Malton and Norton, remained closed yesterday because of concerns about the impact on the structure of high river levels, although engineers were satisfied it could withstand predicted water levels.

High volume pumps continued to be deployed at Malton, Old Malton and Norton to help alleviate the flood defences and stabilise the flow of water. Old Malton resident Hazel Dales said: “It’s a real relief that things are getting better and we are so grateful to the fire service and the Environment Agency. They have been absolutely marvellous.”

Sue Miles, who owns the post office and newsagents close to Cawood bridge, said: “The bridge is still closed and the Ings are high, but other than that, everything’s just normal. We’ve just got to wait for it to go down, now.”

Work to demolish a row of cottages overlooking Whitby's historic harbour after a landslide left them in danger of collapse will be “a long, laborious task2, according to engineers. Preparatory work began yesterday to knock-down five homes at Aelfleda Terrace, which are precariously balanced above the River Esk.

Some roads in East Yorkshire are still closed today because of standing water and East Riding of Yorkshire Council is continuing to put sandbags in place in areas identified as being at risk of flooding, with flooded roads being closed and diversions signposted.

The council said that while the threat of more flooding is decreasing, colder weather means an increased chance of frost and ice. John Skidmore, head of the authority's streetscene services, said: "We are continuing our clean-up operations across the area, and are pleased with how existing flood defences have operated and with the joint approach taken to tackle the inclement weather. 

"The council has been preparing for winter for many months and has full salt stocks at its barns, as well as orders in place to replenish this as and when it is required. Our fleet of gritters went out last night and will again be treating the precautionary highway network tonight as road temperatures are expected tio fall below freezing."

Meanwhile, the National Flood Forum has launched an e-petition, at, entitled People Need Flood Insurance, calling on the Government to take immediate action to ensure flood victims can obtain affordable flood insurance after 2013. More than 2,000 householders in York risk not being able to get insurance.


Hedgehogs rescued

Ten hedgehogs were rescued from flood water in North Yorkshire.

They were taken in by Annette Pyrah, of Selby Wildlife Rehabilitation, over the last few days.

The charity is now urging people to donate animal baskets, old clothing, and cat and dog food, to keep the animals alive and safe.

Annette said: “A lot of little hedgehogs have been washed out of their nests and I’ve been inundated with underweight creatures.

“If anyone does find a baby hedgehog, they must get them warm first of all, because they won’t eat unless they are warm, so put them on a hot water bottle, before feeding them mashed up cat or dog food, never cow’s milk as that could kill them.”

The charity is currently saving to buy an incubator for the animals, and is converting a Fiat Doblo into an animal ambulance.

To make a donation, or report finding an animal in distress, phone Annette on 07803 180720 or 01757 290459, email or visit the centre at York Road, Barlby.