PEOPLE living near the River Foss in York SHOULD avoid a repeat of the disastrous Boxing Day floods of 2015 for several reasons this time round.

More than 600 properties along the Foss and its tributaries were inundated in late 2015, and several key routes across the city - including Foss Islands Road, Castle Mills Bridge and Huntington Road - were blocked, causing severe traffic disruption.

Businesses in streets such as Walmgate and Fossgate were also swamped, as was the telephone exchange off Stonebow - disrupting telephone calls and internet broadband- and the world-famous Jorvik Viking Centre.

The flooding happened after the Foss Barrier and Pumping Station were overwhelmed by the sheer volume of water coming down the Foss after heavy rain at Christmas, with the barrier gate having to be opened.

The barrier gate is intended to prevent floodwaters from a swollen River Ouse surging up the Foss and swamping properties. The pumping station is intended to pump water coming down the Foss into the Ouse so it doesn't back up behind the barrier.

In 2015, the pumps couldn't cope with more than 40 tonnes of water per second flowing down the Foss after exceptionally heavy rainfall in the Foss catchment.

But since then. the Environment Agency has been spending tens of millions of pounds on upgrading the barrier and pumping station.

Huge and powerful new pumps have been installed, capable of coping with up to 50 tonnes of water per second, which should be more than enough to deal with anything coming down after Storm Dennis.

There has also not been as much rainfall in the Foss catchment so far as there was in 2015.

City of York Council has said: "On Boxing Day 2015, there was lots of rainfall coming down the River Foss but the EA are not expecting a similar situation this weekend."

Nor has the Environment Agency issued a flood warning or even an alert - as of 11pm on Saturday - for the Foss.

The risk of the Foss flooding should be reduced even more in future because of the planned construction of a new flood storage area upstream of York near Strensall, which will temporarily hold back some of the water pouring down the river after heavy rain while it is at risk of overtopping its banks.