People and communities

Flood advice and information

When there's flooding in York, we'll provide assistance, practical support and information as soon as it's safe and appropriate to do so.

Additional information is available if you:

You can also follow @EnvAgencyYNE and #floodaware on Twitter, or contact Floodline by telephone: 0345 988 1188.

Helpful information about floods


Flood warnings and levels

The Environment Agency's flood information service is updated regularly. Their current flood warning is refreshed every 10 minutes:

Find out what flood warning symbols mean.

Sign up for flood warnings by phone, email or text message from the Environment Agency if you live, work or have a business in a flood-risk area.

Flood levels for the next 36 hours are published on the EA website.

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Travel and parking during floods

During floods in York Traffic Management Plans and necessary diversions are put place; iTravel York has the latest traffic and travel information.

Where water affects roads you should:

  • not enter or travel through the water
  • leave extra space for all vehicles
  • report surface water and drainage problems
  • be aware of more cyclists and pedestrians using roads (while riverside cycle routes and footpaths are affected)

Get advice on driving through flood water from SmartDriving.co.uk.

Cycle and pedestrian routes

People who are making essential journeys during floods should take extra care to avoid flooded areas, such as riverside paths and cycle ways.

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Support for residents and businesses

Register for council updates so we can keep you updated on services areas of interest to you.

You should avoid entering flood waters, as there may be hidden dangers like sharp objects, raised manhole covers and pollution.

View 'What to do before, during and after a flood' (Environment Agency) for practical advice on protecting yourself and your property.

If you are evacuated due to flooding, we'll be using local B&Bs and hotels rather than rest centres to ensure a safe environment.

Get further advice about protecting homes and businesses from flooding from Yorkshire Flood Resilience.

Choosing trustworthy traders

Read the following advice before choosing a trader to carry out repairs after flooding:

Businesses affected by flooding

Read advice on recovering your business safely after flooding if your business has been affected by flooding.

There's also specific advice from our Food Safety team for food businesses affected by flooding.

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Support for vulnerable people

If you're know of someone who may be in need of social care and support contact our Adult Social Care Team, email: adult.socialsupport@york.gov.uk or telephone: 01904 555111 (or textphone: 07534 437804, for sensory impaired callers), between 8.30am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday. Outside of these times please contact the Emergency Duty Team for assistance.

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Emotional support

The Major Incident Response Team (MIRT) have trained volunteers on hand to provide emotional support to those affected by incidents such as flooding. The MIRT team are here to help, email: mirt@york.gov.uk.

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Flood safety and public health

We have a responsibility for public health and work closely with Public Health England.

Their range of advice for those affected by flooding includes:

Consider a COVID-safe approach to flood emergencies and recovery, including:

  • making sure you stay COVID- safe (using masks, keeping 2 metres distance, and regularly washing hands) whether planning evacuations or helping neighbours
  • using telephone or video calls, rather than travelling to check on vulnerable family, friends or neighbours
  • avoiding travelling through flood water to reach a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, instead wait until you get another invitation

When cleaning after floods:

  • wear rubber boots, waterproof gloves and an apron
  • wear a standard face mask and goggles (such as those sold by DIY stores) to protect yourself from water splashes caused by scrubbing, hosing or pressure-washing
  • wash your hands thoroughly after each clean-up session
  • keep open cuts or sores clean, and use waterproof plasters to prevent them being exposed to floodwater

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Flooding insurance advice

Contact your insurer if you've been affected by flooding.

Read advice for those recovering from floods from the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

Flood Re is a joint Government and insurance industry initiative which aims to help insurers help householders at risk of flooding.

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Sandbags

We'll provide sandbags to communities* at immediate risk of flooding - you don't need to contact us.

When river levels are expected to be high, we’re unlikely to be able to provide sandbags or other defences to other communities; our sandbag policy details how we prioritise use of our sandbag stock:

  1. repairing existing flood defences
  2. preventing flooding to large areas of residential* and commercial property
  3. protecting utilities, hospitals, schools, residential homes and emergency services buildings
  4. critical transport routes and essential roads
  5. individual residential or commercial properties

*Sandbags from our stock will only be made available to individual residential or commercial properties if:

  • there's an immediate threat of flood
  • we'll have enough stock remaining to continue protecting priority areas
  • flood waters aren't expected to rise above existing defences in priority areas

We may charge you for providing sandbags, or any help to build flood defences, at your residential or commercial property.

You should be able to buy sand and bags from the following places:

Sandbags aren't available for collection from our Hazel Court depot.

Find out how to use sandbags for flood protection from the Environment Agency.

If we've provided you with sandbags and you’d like to keep them over the winter period please store them in a safe place on your property.

If you’d like us to collect your sandbags, please contact our Customer Services Team on telephone: 01905 551550, or email: ycc@york.gov.uk and we'll arrange collection.

When flood defences are removed any plastic sandbags will be recycled; where possible we’ll reuse sand at our depot. Contaminated sandbags will be disposed of through our contaminated waste removal.

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Volunteering to help

We’re very grateful to have a network of registered volunteers working alongside the Major Incident Response Team in times of flood.

If you want to volunteer, register with 'Ready for Everything' online.

Once registered, if you’re needed to provide voluntary support, you’ll get a text message from us (or from the North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum), with all the details. Please don’t 'turn up' to a flood area, or where you see defences. You could be putting yourself at risk, and could distract the teams at work.

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Emergency contact details

If you wish to contact City of York Council to report a current emergency situation, please do not contact the Emergency Planning Team.

You can report problems online using our eforms. Emergency issues will be dealt with as a priority.

Get information on how to contact us out of hours to report emergency issues.

Also see

Emergency Planning

West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA