A MAIN road was flooded and homes were put at risk after the River Foss overtopped its banks in York yesterday - but there was good news for motorists and householders about future flooding threats.

City of York Council said the river peaked at 2.73 metres above normal summer levels, causing a small amount of localised flooding in Strensall and Huntington Road.

It said the flooding was caused by overnight heavy rain quickly entering the river upstream and the Foss Barrier and Pumping Station, which prevents floodwaters from the Ouse backing up the Foss, continued to function as planned.

It was the inability of the pumping station to cope with the volume of water coming down the Foss in late 2015 which led to the barrier having to be lifted, and the river flooding hundreds of homes and businesses across a swathe of York. The pumping station was subsequently given a huge upgrade.

Corporate director Neil Ferris said yesterday that the gardens and outbuildings of some properties near the river were flooded but homes should stay dry.

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

Hotels had been placed on standby to provide Covid-secure accommodation to residents, had it proved necessary to evacuate householders.

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

Huntington Road was flooded yesterday afternoon at a low point where it passes under a former railway bridge, with some drivers deciding to risk driving through and others turning round to try to find an alternative route.

Mr Ferris said the threat of flooding from the Foss because of heavy rainfall in the catchment should be reduced by next winter through the planned construction of a huge flood storage area upstream near Strensall in the summer.

However, because of climate change, there could be no guarantees it would never happen again.

The Press reported in December that the plans for a storage area had been given the green light by Ryedale District Council, having already been approved by City of York Council in November.

Work on the scheme, which fell within the boundary of two authorities, was expected to start in the spring and was set to better protect 490 vulnerable homes.