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Flood water from River Ouse could rise after downpour
FLOODING from the River Ouse in York was expected to worsen again today following yesterday’s heavy downpours.
The Environment Agency said an additional 10mm of rain fell in the York area and upstream in the Yorkshire Dales on land already saturated from last Thursday’s torrential rain.
A spokeswoman said the rainfall was not as much as had originally been anticipated, but could still be sufficient to cause flood levels to rise again as the water made its way downriver.
The river peaked at 3.8 metres above normal summer levels on Friday night, causing flooding of footpaths, staiths and riverside pubs such as The Lowther and Kings Arms, but levels had fallen to 2.6 metres above normal by yesterday following drier weather on Saturday.
A pub in North Street, the Yorkshire Hussar – which recently reopened as the city’s latest gay and lesbian pub – was forced to close yesterday after flooding in the street and in the pub’s cellars.
Michael Shepherd, a member of staff, claimed the problem had been caused by the failure of a Yorkshire Water pumping station failing, which meant rainwater had been coming up through the drains.
He said flood barriers intended to protect the street from flooding by the nearby Ouse had actually been worsening the situation by preventing the floodwaters getting away.
A Yorkshire Water spokesman said was unable to comment before the newspaper went to press.
England and Wales have experienced the wettest week since December with forecasters seeing no sign of the rain letting up and supermarkets reporting soaring sales of wellies and umbrellas in the face of the deluge.
The Environment Agency said all regions had now received above average rainfall for April, boosting river levels and providing relief for farmers, gardeners and wildlife in drought areas.
Weathermen expected York and North Yorkshire to enjoy a respite from the rain today, with long sunny periods forecast, although further rain is expected tomorrow and on Wednesday.