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Flood report: York city centre

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Many businesses by the River Ouse have been heavily affected by the overflowing River Ouse and with more rain set to come, things will not be improving any time soon.

Tower Street is no longer flooded, enabling access from Fulford to the city centre, but the floodwater has taken its toll on local enterprises. Several bars and pubs, including The Masons Arms at the start of Tower Street, are closed. As people safely walk by Clifford’s Tower, local restaurant and shop staff are arduously cleaning their floors, walls and windows. The River Ouse has blanketed the park by Skeldergate Bridge, obscuring the start of the riverside walk and decimating the gardens and riverside businesses (pictured below).

The park by Skeldergate Bridge. Photo credit: Jack Harvey
The park by Skeldergate Bridge. Photo credit: Jack Harvey

Pubs along the river have been decimated. Much of The King’s Arms, including its outdoor seating arrangements, have been vanquished by the overflowing river. The Lowther, a popular pub for students, has been greatly challenged by the floodwater. Rudimentary plumbing has been installed to pump water out of the building and back into the bulging river; wooden panelling has been installed to protect the doors and windows, should the water level rise again (pictured below). Next door, the branch of Streamline Taxi directs its customers to seek another entrance – no doubt, anyone seeking a taxi will get wet feet.

The Lowther. Photo credit: Jack Harvey
The Lowther. Photo credit: Jack Harvey

On the other side of the Ouse, enterprises and housing by the river have been threatened by the high water. The Queens Hotel, East Coast House and Emperors Wharf are all in danger. Queens Staith Road has been consumed by the murky water and cannot be seen. However, houses to the other side of Skeldergate are safe, as is the route from Terry Avenue to the Skeldergate Bridge. All houses from here are mounted on a hill and have been troubled only by the rain.

The side of East Coast House. Photo credit: Jack Harvey
The side of East Coast House. Photo credit: Jack Harvey

Though the wet and cold might make unpleasant walking, York continues to be popular with shoppers and tourists regardless of the weather. (Many people have come to see the flooding for themselves in a sort of ‘disaster tourism’.) However, many attractions have been hit by the floodwater. The Jorvik Viking Centre, the popular exhibit of Viking York, is partly submerged and will not be available to the public.

In contrast to previous days, the River Foss looks drained and delapidated. The Foss barrier was originally down but was lifted when the overflowing River Ouse was so high, the Foss barrier control was in danger of being damaged.

The River Foss. Photo credit: Jack Harvey
The River Foss. Photo credit: Jack Harvey

It is possible to walk from the Foss Islands Road to Carmelite St, a route that has only recently been covered by the River Foss. Evidence of the previous flooding is all around (pictured below).

On the walk by the River Foss. Photo credit: Jack Harvey
On the walk by the River Foss. Photo credit: Jack Harvey

South of the Foss, heading towards the University of York campus, the floods have not made a difference. Students living in Foss Studios and beyond will have to travel to see the impact of the flooding.

All information correct as of 30th Dec. 2015. Heavy rain is expected this week – conditions may change.