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Floods: Water levels recede
A BRIDGE which was closed for safety reasons, splitting a town in two during last week’s heavy rainfall, has now been reopened following an inspection by engineers.
Engineers feared the bridge over the River Wharfe in Tadcaster might have suffered structural damage after water was seen seeping through joints between the stonework.
The closure meant residents were unable to walk from one side to the other and motorists faced a long diversion along the A64 via Bilbrough Top to get between the east and west sides of the town.
But yesterday divers entered the Wharfe and inspected the bridge foundations and found no evidence of structural damage. The bridge was re-opened last night.
A number of road restrictions are still in place across the region and police have issued a warning that motorists could “lose their life” if they do not take heed of signs and notices warning of areas affected by flood water.
The warning came as two motorists were left stranded over the weekend after trying to circumvent flood-hit roads.
Shortly before 9am on Saturday, firefighters were called after reports a pensioner had become stranded in four feet of flood water near Newton on Ouse.
North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service’s swift water rescue teams from Ripon and Selby were called, in addition to a crew from Easingwold.
Later that day, shortly after 6.30pm, firefighters were again called after a woman became stranded on the B1222 in Naburn , York.
The swift water rescue unit was sent as well as fire crews from York and Acomb and firefighters used triple extension ladders to rescue the woman who had clambered on the bonnet of her car to safety.
Assistant Chief Constable of North Yorkshire, Iain Spittal, said: “The last thing I want to happen after the efforts of all the agencies who have worked tirelessly to keep everyone safe this week is for someone to lose their life after ignoring a road or bridge closed sign.
“Staff from North Yorkshire County Council and the City of York Council are working to get roads open as quickly as possible.
“Engineers also need to check bridges to ensure they are structurally sound.
“If you see a bridge closed sign, even if it looks clear, it may not be safe.
“So please wait until the bridge has been given the all clear by engineers and has been re-opened.”
For details of road restrictions visit northyorks.gov.uk
River levels in York were down to 3.50m last night, compared with 4.5m on Friday night.
• The West Yorkshire National Vintage Tractor & Engine Club’s old farm machinery vintage working day at Cawood on Sunday has been cancelled due to the wet ground.
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