Traffic officers are warning drivers to avoid all non-essential journeys today due to widespread flooding on main routes in North Yorkshire.

North Yorkshire Police has received reports of impassable roads, standing water and collisions caused by the weather today.

Major roads in and out of the county, including the A64 and A1(M), are covered in a significant amount of standing water, making them hazardous to motorists.

North Yorkshire Police’s Force Control Room is also experiencing a very high volume of calls due to weather-related incidents, and has issued advice to callers to help manage demand.

Roads Policing Sergeant Neale Rees said: “Hours of extremely heavy rain have taken a toll on our road network, and in many places water is pooling faster than it can drain. This includes major trunk roads across the region.

“We are now advising motorists to avoid all non-essential travel until conditions improve. If your journey is absolutely unavoidable, please exercise extreme caution.”

North Yorkshire Police is working with other organisations including North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and the Highways team to clear as much standing water as possible and rescue drivers who have become stranded.

North Yorkshire Police’s Force Control Room is experiencing a very high volume of calls due to weather-related incidents. Anyone reporting a non-emergency may face longer waiting times, as police must prioritise incidents where there is an immediate threat to someone’s safety.

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “Our officers and staff are working extremely hard to help people throughout the county and meet the demand brought about by today’s weather.

“If you need to contact us and there is no immediate threat to safety, you may encounter a longer wait than usual on 101. Please consider this before making the call and understand that we have a duty to prioritise our resources.

“Do not use 999 unless there is an immediate risk to safety or an ongoing crime. This could prevent us dealing with genuine emergencies.”

Emergency services are dealing with a number of incidents across North Yorkshire including Ryedale as Storm Ciara hits the region.

A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police said: "Here are a few of the weather-related incidents our Force Control Room and officers have dealt with since midnight.

"Remember, we're working with other organisations including Highways to keep you safe and keep traffic moving. Please follow diversions and if a road is flooded, don't chance it."

> A fallen tree blocking the road in Great Barugh in Ryedale

> A cow that had wandered onto the A59 near Harrogate, probably after fencing was damaged. It was unharmed and happily grazing on the grass verge when police were notified

> A coastal flood warning due to high tides and large waves on Scarborough Foreshore and Sandside

> Several false alarms across the county, which were likely to have been activated by high winds or debris

> One lane of the A64 westbound near Scampston blocked by a fallen tree

> A shed that had blown across Station Avenue in Filey, blocking the road

> Local roads around Swinney Beck, Masham, affected by flooding, including Leyburn Road. Police were monitoring the situation and officers on the ground managed traffic flow

> River Ribble flooding in Settle, affecting nearby roads

> A vehicle stuck in water on Keighley Road, Skipton. The driver managed to get out of the vehicle before officers arrived

> A tree that had blown down and was laying across Malsis Road, Glusburn, near Skipton

> Dam Lane was blocked in Saxton near Selby after a tree blew over

> A vehicle stuck on the route between Carelton and Skipton after the road became flooded

> Standing water on the A64 near Fulford, which slowed drivers down but remained passable

> A tree that had blown over and was blocking a rural road near Fewston, near Harrogate

> Flooding the A658 between Huby and Harrogate, which was passable but had a lot on standing water on it