Homes evacuated as River Aire floods in East Yorkshire

By Dave Higgens and Amy Murphy, PA

Homes were being evacuated and roads closed in East Yorkshire after the River Aire burst its banks.

People living in the Snaith and Gowdall areas were issued with warnings after river water began pouring over floodbanks into surrounding fields, leaving cars stranded.

Despite much of the land in the area being designated as washlands – to contain river water when it floods – levels on Tuesday submerged some roads and began to threaten properties.

Carlton Bridge on the A1041 – one of the few river crossings in the area – was closed.

The village of Gowdall suffered severe flooding in 2000 with around 150 homes affected.

Handout photo issued by Lucy Sheridan of flooding in Snaith, East Yorkshire, where homes have been evacuated after the River Aire burst its banks (Lucy Sheridan/PA).

Lucy Sheridan, 40, from Carlton, said the river level at Snaith was as high as she had seen it.

She said the road into the town had been closed, a number of businesses were flooded and the local primary school had been shut as a precaution.

Classic cars from a garage located close to the River Aire had been moved on to Carlton Bridge in an attempt to avoid flood damage but other vehicles were submerged in the water.

Mrs Sheridan said: “The river has come over the top of the flood defences on the Snaith side so there is nowhere for the water to go and the river itself is flowing quite fast.”

She added: “There’s a beauty salon, a hand car wash and a car sales garage, which are all under water up to their windows but they’ve moved the classic cars on to the bridge.”

Humberside Police said on Twitter: “Further to our post regarding the River Aire having burst its banks at Snaith.

“Homes are now being evacuated, those affected can attend the Priory Church for Shelter and refreshments.

“Please continue to avoid the area, the A1041 north of Snaith is closed in both directions.”

Social media users posted footage of water pouring over flood banks in the Snaith/Gowdall area into the surrounding wash lands.

A handful of homes around the village of Hirst Courtney, on the opposite side of the Aire, were also flooded on Monday and Tuesday.

Selby District Council said 1,000 sandbags had been delivered to the Hirst Courtney area.

Council chief executive Janet Waggott, said: “A number of homes have been directly affected by the rising waters and unfortunately we’ve seen some properties flood.

“But our work to protect homes in the area has limited the number affected between Brotherton and Carlton over recent days.

“The washlands at Hirst Courtney are an important flood storage area for the River Aire and the run-off areas for water have been working as they should.  However, we’ve seen some of the highest-ever recorded levels in these washlands.”

Further north,  flood defences at Cawood were being strengthened on Tuesday evening  due to concerns about the rising level of the River Ouse.

North Yorkshire police was setting up a community support station in the car park of the Jolly Sailor pub in the village to help anyone concerned about possible flooding.

Chair of the North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum and Chief Executive of North Yorkshire County Council, Richard Flinton, said: “This is just an added precaution at this stage, as we expect water levels to remain below the height of flood defences.

“However, it’s important that we’re prepared and help to protect homes and businesses.”