Construction On York Flood Alleviation Scheme Begins

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Construction On York Flood Alleviation Scheme Begins

Construction On York Flood Alleviation Scheme Begins

Construction work has begun on the Flood Alleviation Scheme in York, with contractors now preparing to raise and improve flood defences on North Street from Westgate Apartments to the Park Inn Hotel.

Run by the Environment Agency, the scheme – being organised in conjunction with the City of York Council – will see the floodgate beneath Lendal Bridge increased in height by 30cm as well, while a site compound is also now being built on Tanner Row opposite the Maltings pub.

The work will also consist of constructing a new flood wall up to 70cm along Leeman Road to a new embankment where York City Rowing Club can be found, as well as allowing for demountable flood barriers to be used across the two entrances to the Memorial Gardens.

“It is great news that we’re now on the ground working to better protect York, its residents and businesses from flooding. The flood wall along North Street has previously come close to overtopping and needs increasing in height to cope with rising flood heights and the effects of climate change.

“In both 2000 and 2015 the river levels were close to the top of the wall so sandbags were used to increase the defence height,” the Agency’s project manager Richard Lever said.

He went on to add that if this work isn’t carried out, there is also a risk that flooding could occur on both Rougier Street and Wellington Row, as well as affecting Station Road, if it is able to flow around the defences that are currently in place.

The city of York was badly affected by floods that took place back in 2015, with the Rivers Foss and Ouse both bursting their banks.

According to the BBC at the time, up to 3,500 properties across the city were at risk, with between 300 and 400 people evacuated, and six severe flood warnings in place.

Interestingly, as explained by the Environment Agency, the two rivers flowing through York actually had huge parts to play in the success of the city, first serving as defensive weapons for Roman settlers and then being used to support trade and industrial growth as the city expanded.

The city has flooded regularly throughout history and the flood defences of York have protected residents on many occasions.

It’s not possible to prevent all flooding from taking place but what is essential is that water is managed more effectively, building new and improved defences and looking upstream at the catchment to work out how to slow the flow, store water and reduce the impact that flooding has on the city.

The Environment Agency will continue working alongside the local council between now and 2021 to carry out flood defence upgrades within York.

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