Press release: Flood warning service improvements go live for winter

People who live near the River Foss in York will now be able to benefit from an improved flood warning service from Wednesday, October 18.

After the Boxing Day 2015 floods, one of the recommendations of the York Flood Inquiry report was for the Environment Agency to conduct a review of the flood warnings on the River Ouse and Foss.

The Environment Agency commissioned consultants to review all flood warnings in the city.

Along the River Ouse catchment, the review found the existing service meets the needs of the community.

However, the River Foss flood warnings underwent a thorough review and changes have been made.

A new rain monitoring station is being installed upstream on the Foss in the village of Yearsley, 20 miles north of York, as well as a river level monitoring station near Strensall.

These two monitoring stations will automatically feed information into the Environment Agency’s systems and forecasts for the River Foss, supporting a better understanding of the amount of water flowing down the river towards York.

This will help the Environment Agency’s flood duty officers to issue flood warnings with more confidence and more accurate information included within the warning messages.

The River Foss catchment area within the City of York boundary previously had six flood warnings, covering the Foss, Tang Hall Beck and Osbaldwick Beck.

As part of the improvements this will increase to ten and include warnings for South Beck and Westfield Beck.

Zoë Pattinson, Environment Agency flood risk officer, said:

Along the River Foss corridor, there is one long warning that is for the properties most at risk from river flooding, and a wider warning that covers the properties at lower risk of flooding.

The Environment Agency also worked with members the River Foss Society in redesigning the flood warning boundaries and trigger levels.

The Foss Society and local residents have provided valuable input into the review of the flood warning service for the River Foss community.

She continued:

Local community input is important because it gives us an insight from those who have seen how the river and catchment behaves in heavy rainfall. It also helps raise awareness of our flood warning service.

John Millett, chairman of the River Foss Society, said:

The River Foss Society supports and fully endorses the work the Environment Agency is doing to improve the flood warnings that are being introduced to protect the City of York and neighbouring areas and their residents and businesses along both the River Ouse and the River Foss corridors.

People who are already signed up the flood warning service will automatically be transferred to the new relevant flood warning area that covers their property. If you want to register to receive free Environment Agency flood warnings then you can either at flood warnings or call on Floodline 0345 988 1188.

Link: Press release: Flood warning service improvements go live for winter
Source: Environment Agency