Flooding in York

1st November to 11th November 2000.

The Flood event which occurred in November 2000 had a return period estimated to be 1 in 80 to 90 years. In November 2000 York suffered its worst floods since records began some time in the 17th century. The water was over six metres higher than it should have been and came within five centimetres of breaching York's flood defences.

Knavesmire Road (between the line of trees) .

Flood defences. North Street .

end of North Street .Flood defences .

View from Leeman Road towards Marygate .

Car Park. Leeman Road .

River Ouse beside Lendal Bridge .

King’s Arms .

Environmental Agency .

Streets in Clementhorpe .


and can be overtopped or fail in extreme weather conditions.5% (1 in 200) chance of happening each year.The purple line shows all flood defences built in the last five years to protect against river floods with a 1% (1 in 100) chance of happening each year.  . older defences and defences which protect against smaller floods. will be gradually added. however. or floods from the sea with a 0. together with some. but not all.    Hatched areas benefit from the flood defences shown. or a flood from the sea with a 0. these areas would be flooded.5% (1 in 200) chance of happening each year. If the defences were not there. Flood defences do not completely remove the chance of flooding. in the event of a river flood with a 1% (1 in 100) chance of happening each year. Flood defences that are not yet shown. and the areas that benefit from them.

within two inches of breaching flood defences .The river reached a peak of 17ft 8ins (5.3m) above normal at 0330 GMT on Saturday 4th November 2000.

Lendal Bridge Flood Defences .

Foss Barrier .

Nidd and Ure which carry water from the Dales and the Pennines.Catchment area: Rivers Ouse & Foss This map shows the Ouse catchment area upstream of York – a total of 3. .000 square kilometres. The River Ouse is fed mainly by the rivers Swale. the level of the Ouse in York can rise dramatically. Whe there is heavy rain or melting snow on the high ground.


3 million cubic metres of water. In 1982.Clifton Ings This is a natural flood plain upstream of York which can store 2. the existing floodbanks were raised and new embankments constructed to provide this greater storage. .25 million. allowing the full capacity of the Ings to be utilised in such an event. This system is extremely effective for medium order floods of up to 14 feet (4. lowering the peak flood level in the city by 150mm. the site is designed to let the banks overtop.27 metres) above normal. at a cost of £1. For higher order flooding. Sluice controls for letting flood water in and out of the Ings were also put into operation.

View of Clifton Ings filled with flood water during the 1995 event looking downstream of the Ouse towards the city. Utilising these washlands can reduce the effects of high water levels in the river. Flood water is returned to the Ouse when the river has fallen to a safe level. .

high winds blowing over Clifton Ings generated large waves which overtopped the Leeman Road defences. . The floodbank was raised in response to this effect. During the 1982 flood. allowing sewage to be pumped when the river levels were high. In 1980 a floodbank was constructed in front of the houses to protect them from flood water. 225 houses were seriously flooded. The sewage system was also improved drastically. It was extremely prone to flooding both from the River Ouse and the adjacent Holgate Beck. In 1978.Leeman Road The Leeman Road area of York consists primarily of 19th Century ex-railway workers‘ houses.

Work had already begun to protect the area when it flooded again in 1982. a combination of concrete flood walls with steel trench sheeting have been constructed. Since then. as well as earthen embankments. Valves have been installed to isolate the sewage system incorporating a small pump to evacuate sewage when river levels are too high .Lower Ebor Street This area of 19th Century housing was badly flooded in 1978.

a two-pump station was built to control water levels.Holgate Beck In order to prevent flooding in the Acomb area of the city. and near the racecourse. . upstream tributaries of Holgate Beck were diverted to discharge flow directly into the Ouse downstream of York. Upstream of York. where Holgate Beck joins the Ouse.

A rapid increase in the volume of water in the Ouse would force the Foss back on itself. rising water in the Ouse can often result in a dangerous reaction in the Foss. 1978. and 1982.The Foss Barrier The River Foss is a large tributary which flows through York. causing it to overtop its banks and flood surrounding properties. A solution for the Foss had to be found. Because of the delicate relationship between these two rivers.It was this dramatic effect that contributed to the severity of the floods in 1947. . joining the River Ouse just downstream from York Castle.