THE River Ouse in York is set to peak at 4.76 metres above normal at 3am tomorrow - just short of the levels at which there is widescale property flooding, a council official has revealed.

Neil Ferris, corporate director at City of York Council, said the number of properties flooded would be 'in the tens' at this level, with the number affected rising significantly if levels rose to 5.2 or 5.4, as happened in 2015 and 2000.

He also said the River Foss was now thought to have peaked at 2.67 metres, which meant the gardens and outbuildings of some properties near the river were being flooded but homes should stay dry.

He told a press briefing that the construction of a huge new flood storage area upstream near Strensall this summer should reduce the risk of such flooding from the Foss in the future, but said that because of climate change, there could be no guarantees it would never happen again.

The briefing was told that hotels had been on standby to provide Covid-secure accommodation to residents had it proved necessary to evacuate homes.

Mr Ferris said council staff had mobilised swiftly after the Environment Agency warned at 5.21am today that there was a risk of flooding to properties near the Foss because of heavy rain in the catchment.

He stressed that the Foss Barrier and Pumping Station was working normally to prevent floodwaters from the Ouse backing up the Foss.

He said that pumps and sandbags deployed by the council on the A19 at Fulford should succeed in keeping the road passable today.

He warned that with frosty nights on the way, and a lot of water lying around after the rain, the next risk was black ice causing people to suffer fractures, as happened earlier this month.

Cllr Paula Widdowson, executive member for environment and climate change,, praised the 'professional' work of staff in responding to the floods.