THE River Ouse could reach the record levels reached during the 2000 floods of 5.4 metres above normal - according to the Environment Agency.

In the devastating 2015 Boxing Day floods, the river only rose by 5.2 metres above normal summer levels.

The Environment Agency has warned  that the Ouse could rise up to 5.2 metres again, with a worst case scenario of reaching 5.4 metres.

City of York Council is putting measures in place to protect homes and businesses.

York Rescue Boat will be available if called on by the emergency services.

If not needed, they will be by both rivers this afternoon doing training and other work.  

City council leader Keith Aspden said: “With significant rainfall and strong winds forecast this weekend, and the unpredictable levels of snow melt, we are closely monitoring the situation with partners.

“We have spent today strengthening our flood defences and will tomorrow be helping the residents in the most at risk locations with the provision of sandbags to protect their homes and businesses.

"And we’re taking precautions to keep our fantastic city open so residents and businesses can enjoy all York has to offer.

“We ask that people continue to keep an eye out for the latest information and alerts from the Environment Agency which provides river levels for the next 36 hours in York , and look out on friends and neighbours who may need support.

"And above all, stay well away from the rivers and flood water.”

The Environment Agency is currently predicting the River Ouse will reach  4.41m by 9:15am Monday.  It has not said if that will be the peak. 

In the 2015 floods when the Ouse peaked at 5.2m the situation was worsened by the shock failure of the Foss Barrier, which meant the Ouse floodwaters backed up the Foss.

About 500 homes alongside the Ouse, the Foss, Tang Hall Beck and Osbaldwick Beck were inundated.

The Environment Agency are not expecting a similar situation with the Foss this weekend, following recent upgrades to the Foss Barrier, which is currently in operation.

Yesterday evening teams wereworking with vulnerable residents in Fulford and Fishergate to sandbag homes.

Today teams are focusing on helping people living at high risk properties in Naburn, Clementhorpe, Fishergate and Bishopthorpe.

For information and help follow @EnvAgencyYNE and #floodaware on Twitter for call Floodline on 0345 9881188.