YORK has begun preparing for serious flooding by the River Ouse later this week in the wake of Storm Christoph.

Sandbag barriers were being built by council workmen this morning at the entrance to Tower Gardens and in Clementhorpe, to protect Tower Street and local properties from floodwaters.

A temporary bridge was also being constructed into flats in Skeldergate, which are marooned when the river is badly in flood.

The Environment Agency has said that the Ouse could rise to more than 4 metres above normal summer levels after two days of persistent and heavy rain in the Dales catchment today and tomorrow.

The river reached 4.5 metres above normal in the city's last big flood, in February last year.