THE Press has reported that during a recent flood, the Environment Agency predicted the Ouse may rise to within 200mm (8 inches) of the flood barriers erected by the council.

Luckily that didn’t happen, but it could in future, as 200mm is the protection they propose for some of the new Clementhorpe defences.

Fixed flood defences are usually built at least 300mm (12 inches) above the maximum predicted level, and often higher.

This is because computer models can never be completely accurate in predicting where, and how much rain will fall, as York found on Boxing Day 2015, when the Foss overwhelmed the flood barrier pumps.

The computer modelling for the new flood defences gives very erratic and implausible river levels, even apparently flowing uphill at one point, but the design team continue to defend it.

I am awaiting an overdue reply to a Freedom of Information Request on this matter.

The most recent floods saw the Ouse running at very high levels for a long time, causing much anxiety to vulnerable residents.

Increasing the height of the new flood barriers would be a simple and relatively cheap way to allow for computer model inaccuracy and minimise risk of overtopping, allowing residents to sleep in peace during a major flood.

Christopher Rainger

Grange Street,