STAY vigilant - that's the warning from the emergency services, and local authorities and agencies as York and North Yorkshire.

In particular they are strongly warning about people driving into flood or standing water.

Some motorists have had to be rescued by the emergency services, diverting resources from elsewhere.

Emergency services, county, district and city councils, utility services and other agencies including the Environment Agency and mountain rescue teams have combined forces under the umbrella of the county's Local Resilience Forum to co-ordinate defences against the floods now working their way down rivers throughout the Vale of York.

Rainfall in the worst affected areas in the Pennines this weekend was 60mm to 80mm.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service group manager Lee Smith, said: “There may be a view that because the rain is easing away the problem is over – that’s not the case and the impact of the rainfall will continue to become apparent over the next hours and days.

“We appeal to the public to continue to stay safe and to heed all warning signs and messaging.

“We are grateful to the vast majority of people who have listened to our advice to prepare and take care.

"However, we now have widespread flooding across a number of roads in the North Yorkshire particularly and it’s vital people don’t take risks.

“Already today a number of motorists have had to be rescued from flood water and that’s really disappointing given the number of warnings we have been issuing.

“I would also like to reiterate the call to people to stay away from rivers and other areas of open water. Many are swollen and that may well get worse. Water may be fast moving and dangerous.”

Richard Flinton, Chair of York and North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum said: “If you drive into flood water you could be putting your life and the lives of the emergency services who will likely need to rescue you – at risk. Please don’t do it.

“Be extremely cautious about respecting water laying on roads - it can be deep and fast moving. As we become aware of issues we are responding dynamically but even if there is no road closed sign do not assume it’s safe to drive through.

“Water levels can rise quickly and you do not know what is underneath the water – there could be highways damage or other hazards.

Superintendent Sam Millar of North Yorkshire Police said: “By sharing real time information and the latest forecasts and impacts we have helped communities to be prepared and it’s inspiring to see how they have responded. Sandbagging, offers of loans of 4x4 vehicles, contingency planning and community spirit have been evident in many areas.

“We are not out of the woods yet so please continue to help us by looking after yourself, your property and your communities and keeping up to date with the latest information.

“Particularly important is the need to adhere to road closed signage. We are still getting reports that some people are driving past them or removing them. Not only is that a big risk to yourselves and your property it is an offence so please leave all signage in place – we will remove it when it is safe to do so.”

Cllr Keith Aspden, leader of City of York Council, said:“ With the 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 the last few days strengthening our flood defences and will today and tomorrow continue to help the residents in the most at-risk locations with 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.”

Led by North Yorkshire County Council, the forum includes: North Yorkshire Police, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, the councils for York, Richmondshire, Hambleton, Ryedale, Scarborough, Selby, Craven district and Harrogate, Northern Power Grid, the Environment Agency, the Met Office, mountain rescue teams and the coastguard.