MONTHS of rain have left parts of our region with the highest levels of ground water since records began.

As council workers use high pressure hoses to clear silt from York’s flood-hit riverside quay and pathways, the Environment Agency said the region would need months of dry weather to allow excess ground water to drain away.

In Ryedale, more than 600mm of rain fell between September and December, pushing river and groundwater to the highest levels since records began.

The amount of rainfall was nearly double the normal amount for this period.

A team has been working throughout Christmas and New Year to protect properties from flooding as water levels peaked at a level similar to those of November 2000 when more than 215 properties flooded in Ryedale.

Supt Glyn Payne, co-ordinator of the Silver Command Team, said: “The efforts of all agencies continues to be phenomenal to ensure that people throughout Ryedale can continue life as normal despite water levels reaching highest ever recorded.”

Roger Ransom, assistant director at City of York Council, said: “Thankfully the River Ouse and Foss didn’t rise to the levels we experienced in September/November 2012, however front-line teams were on standby to work round the clock to protect residents, tourists and businesses over the Christmas and the New Year period.

“We’d like to thank everyone for their support last year and our priority remains the same for 2013, to keep York open for business and support our partners in promoting the city as a world-class business and tourist destination.”

A spokesman for the Environment Agency (EA) said the deluges meant that springs which had not been seen for decades were appearing again in North Yorkshire.

There is hope, however from the Met Office, which said our region was unlikely to see any more significant rainfall this month.

A spokesman said the damp, mild weather would give way to clear but colder periods and that was likely to last into February.