YORK is set to escape Christmas flooding chaos despite rain lashing the region again this weekend.

Heavy downpours drenched North Yorkshire on Saturday and led to three flood warnings being put in place along the River Ouse in York as it peaked at four metres above normal. Many roads were closed and motorists were warned to cut their speed on other routes.

Warnings were also issued for two stretches of the River Derwent, at Stamford Bridge and Buttercrambe Mill, and eight pumps were brought into action by the Environment Agency, Ryedale District Council, Yorkshire Water and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to deal with surface water flooding in the Malton area.

Council teams and Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water staff were set to be working and on-call around the clock over Christmas in case flooding arises, but despite more rain being forecast on Monday, no serious problems are expected after a dry day today.

Saturday’s wet weather saw Cawood Bridge, near Selby, closed during the morning, while Skeldergate, in the centre of York, was shut throughout the day and St George’s Field car park, New Walk, Kings and Queens Staiths and parts of Terry Avenue were all partially flooded.

Other roads which were closed at various times during the day included Main Street in Ryther, Oxton Lane in Tadcaster, Back Lane and Ramparts in Bolton Percy, Intake Lane in Beal and Linton Bridge, near Newton-on-Ouse.

Water spilled on to the A64 in both directions near Malton and Norton, with firefighters were called to help provide residents with sandbags after problems in Saxton, near Tadcaster, and to push vans out of floodwater in Stamford Bridge and between Newton-on-Ouse and Tollerton.

The Ouse and Derwent warnings are still in place this afternoon, but an Environment Agency spokesman said: “Although the water levels will take time to drop, they have peaked at four metres in York and Malton - which, while high, is not a cause for concern - and will fall over the next few days based on the current weather forecast.

“We believe we are through the worst, especially with the rain on Saturday being steadier compared to what was seen in North Yorkshire in November.

"Of our three incident rooms in Yorkshire and the North East which operate in situations like this, those in Newcastle and Leeds have closed, and although the room in York was open on Sunday, this is simply to allow our staff to continue checking river levels.”