ENVIRONMENT bosses may draw up an emergency staff rota for the Christmas holidays as concerns grow about festive flooding risks.

Persistent rainfall on Wednesday night and through yesterday led to the issue of several flood warnings by the Environment Agency, including ones for the River Nidd at Knaresborough, Cattal and Hunsingore.

Another alert was issued at Pocklington, where the agency said the rainfall on an already-saturated river catchment had led river levels to rise 0.4 metres above normal.

An agency spokesman said bands of rain were set to cross the region over the next few days, leading to concerns that there could be a repeat of the flooding seen in November, although it was not expected to be as bad as the more serious flood event of September.

He said the agency normally ran with a skeleton staff over the Christmas period, but was yesterday considering drawing up a rota to deal with possible flooding problems. Forecasters have warned of further heavy deluges over the weekend, with North Yorkshire one of the counties at greatest risk of flooding.

Warnings were also put in place for Husthwaite, near Easingwold, Hovingham, Sinnington, Bishop Monkton, and the A168 at Cundall, near Thirsk.