York flooding victims to get cash payment

York residents to receive £500 to support clean-up process as part of financial support package for residents and businesses

Swan at window

York residents whose homes have been internally flooded will receive a one-off payment of £500 from City of York Council later this week to help support the clean-up process.Residents who pay their Council Tax by Direct Debit and have been identified as having their homes being flooded* will receive the funding directly in their bank account.

Those paying by other methods will need to collect their payment by bringing photographic ID (e.g. a passport or driving licence) and a proof of address (e.g. utility bill) to the council’s Customer Contact Centre at West Offices on Station Rise. If someone is collecting payment on behalf of a resident, they will need to bring proof of ID and address for themselves, as well as the same ID for the flooded resident.

Residents whose homes have been flooded internally will also be entitled to a Council Tax exemption from 27 December 2015-31 March 2016 inclusive. Residents of all internally flooded properties will automatically receive an updated bill over the next few days.

Anyone who hasn’t received their amended Council Tax bill by 15 January should email council.tax@york.gov.uk or phone 01904 551558.

Refunds will be issued over the next few days to Council Tax payers who are in credit after the flood exemption has been awarded.

There are also a number of other financial support options for residents affected by flooding:

·  The York Financial Assistance Scheme (YFAS) provides help for residents in financial difficulty to continue to live in the local community. More information about the Scheme is available at www.york.gov.uk/yfas email yfas@york.gov.uk or phone 0808 1685238 (during normal office hours 8.30am to 5.30pm).

· York residents whose homes have been flooded, who are on a low income, have little capital and who are not adequately insured, may be eligible for help from York’s Disaster Fund, a registered charity which was established after flooding in York in 2000. Applications for this will be managed by the council for all customers, including those who do not qualify for YFAS. For more information about how to apply please email yfas@york.gov.uk or phone 0808 1685238.

£240,000 has so far been donated towards the £250,000 target for the York Flood Appeal. Click to donate

£240,000 has so far been donated towards the £250,000 target for the York Flood Appeal. Click to donate

· Up to £5,000 Future Flood Prevention Funding is available for property owners and those who are responsible for maintaining the fabric of a property that has been flooded. This is to improve the property in order to prevent future flood damage. To apply for this please contact the council tax team on council.tax@york.gov.uk or phone 01904 551558.

Businesses which have been affected by the floods are currently being visited by City of York Council representatives.

· Up to £2,500 is available for businesses affected by the floods through the Flood Recovery Fundfor businesses.

Businesses can email business@makeityork.com or phone 01904 554455 to make a claim.

· Businesses which have been flooded will need to apply for an exemption to their Business Rates. Please contact the business rates team at business.rates@york.gov.uk or phone 01904 551140.

· Up to £5,000 in Future Flood Prevention Funds (Commercial)is available for commercial property owners and those who are responsible for maintaining the fabric of a property that has been flooded. This is to improve the property in order to prevent future flood damage. To apply for this please email business@makeityork.com or phone 01904 554455.

Steve Stewart, Chief Executive of City of York Council, said: “We hope that these one-off payments will help York residents and businesses whose homes and properties were flooded to get back on their feet. However, we would still advise people who are covered by insurance to liaise directly with their insurance companies and ensure they employ reputable trades people to undertake work on their property.”

The government has also agreed to match-fund any York flood-related donations made to registered charities, such as the York Flood Appeal. More information about how to donate to the Appeal is available at www.trcf.org.uk/

Communications probe in wake of York floods failures

Twitter 2

How events unfolded on “twitter” click to enlarge

A media release issued by the York Council on the afternoon of 26th December assured residents that “provisions were in place to protect the City” from flooding.

Less than 14 hours later the Foss barrier had failed, 700 homes and businesses had been flooded and telecoms were down.

The Council issued a further media statement late on 27th saying “The north east of the city is protected from flooding by a flood protection scheme, called the Foss Barrier”.

Which rather demonstrates the need for prompt and informed communications when a crisis develops.

As one of our commentators points out,

“We seem to receive at least one severe warning each year without a trickle of water being seen in the street (Huntington Road). I guess that it’s institutional ‘crying wolf’. Neighbours say that if there had been a real local warning – from, say, a tannoy fitted to a police car, then they would have been able to save more possessions. We are all going to have to move out of homes for six months for reconstruction”. 

Cllr Andrew Waller has agreed to take up any communications issues with the appropriate authorities

Coincidentally the Council will debate next week (11th Jan) a study on “E-Democracy”.  The review prompted the so called engagement survey where residents were asked to say how they would prefer to communicat with the Council.  Ironically the failure to publicise the survey led to a derisory level of engagement with it!

The study also failed to report on the speed of response to issues reported using existing “on line” systems. *

However, more intelligent and timely use of digital systems is undoubtedly at least part of the way forward.

Real time updates on flood levels should be possible even now, while many organisations in the business support and voluntary sector (and others) need to take a hard look at how well they have supported their clients over the last week.

Meanwhile the City remains grateful to the relatively  small number of organisations and individuals who, from Monday onwards, organised themselves to meet the emerging gaps in the provision of flood relief services

*It has been confirmed that the much hyped but dysfunctional issue reporting system launched in October is in fact an interim “fix” aimed at replacing a system lost when computer systems were transferred to West Offices 18 months ago.

 The new “all bells and whistles” personal account based system – originally promised for introduction in spring 2015 – is now expected to be available later this year and may be soft tested later this month.

York Floods: Statement needed to reassure residents

The York Council would be right to take a few weeks to pull together a report on the recent flooding issues in the City.

It should not take the two years that the post 2012 floods report took to compile.

click to donate

click to donate

But there is an urgent need to reassure residents about precisely what went wrong with the Foss barrier last weekend.

At the time the authorities claimed that the barrier was raised (prompting a 2 foot increase in the level of the Foss and the flooding of the Huntington Road area and telephone exchange)  because there were fears that water would damage the lifting equipment or the power supply.

In the cold light of day this seems an unlikely explanation, not least because the system had reserve generators which could be brought on line or, failing that, a manual lifting system.

We know that water from the Ouse was approaching the Foss from the Tower Street area (but it never actually over-topped the barriers).

So the issue presumably was an unprecedented run off into the Foss catchment area?

Tang Hall beck certainly did experience record levels.

  • Could the Foss barrier pumps not cope?
  • Were they all working to maximum capacity?
  • Why was the pumping station evacuated? (a new bridge to it was later provided by Army engineers)
The questions need to be answered quickly and publicly by the Environment Agency.

It isn’t a question of apportioning blame.

It is a matter of reassuring hundreds of residents and business owners that the cause of the problem is understood and, should another similar event occur this winter, that contingency plans have been upgraded.

After all we are now in a vulnerable position.
The ground is saturated guaranteeing that any rainfall will run off quickly into ditches and rivers..
Many previous floods have been caused by a combination of melting snow and localised rainfall.
Add in the already wet ground and the conditions for a “perfect storm” may already exist.

Local MPs and the Environment Agency must reassure residents without delay

 

Flood update: Flood command team stands down

floods childs toyThe multi-agency emergency flood response in York and North Yorkshire has been stood down now that the recovery phase of the operation is well underway.

The decision was taken this afternoon (31 December 2015, New Year’s Eve) by the Strategic Co-ordinating Group chaired by North Yorkshire Police.

Partner agencies in the Tactical Co-ordinating Group – Silver Command – run from North Yorkshire Police’s Force Control Room in York, will return to their organisations to get on with the recovery work from the severe flooding which hit York, Selby, Cawood, Tadcaster and Malton on Boxing Day and in the days that followed.
(more…)

Nestle £100,000 boost to York Flood Appeal

Money pouring in to Flood Appeal. Total tops £141,000 by 2:00pm

York Flood Appeal

Businesses or individuals who wish to donate to the appeal should contact Jan Garrill, of Two Ridings Community Foundation or go online at http://www.trcf.org.uk/

Click here to make on “on line” donation

Nestle, one of York’s largest employers, has today (Thursday 31 December) donated £100,000 to the York Flood Appeal – taking the fund to £137,000 in just 48 hours.

The appeal, which was only launched on Tuesday, will help York residents affected by the flooding to get back on their feet.  Funds will provide essential household items, such as carpets and washing machines, and the costs of living in temporary accommodation or paying for extra heating.

Dame Fiona Kendrick, Chairman and CEO of Nestlé UK and Ireland said: “As one of York’s biggest employers it has been very concerning to see the effect of these floods on the local community. We want to join those who have rallied round to support the relief effort, including many of our employees, and we have already been able to provide food, drink and other supplies. We now hope this £100k donation will help the York Flood Appeal provide vital support to those in need at such a difficult time.”

The York Disaster Fund – a local charity established in 2000 in response to the floods that year – set up the York Flood Appeal. The Two Ridings Community Foundation, the local community foundation for York, North & East Yorkshire is hosting the appeal on behalf of the charity.

Steve Stewart, Chief Executive of City of York Council, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the response from both businesses and members of the public who have offered their time, donations and financial assistance to give relief to the people directly affected and the communities around them. We thank Nestle for this generous donation, which will undoubtedly go a long way to helping York residents get back on their feet.”

Anyone needing to apply to the fund should get in touch with City of York Council on 01904 551550.

For advice and support on the York floods visit www.york.gov.uk/floods

Floods updateKnavesmire Road
  • River levels continue to drop and local flood warnings have been downgraded.
  • Some drivers are now venturing onto the Knavesmire Road. The official advice is not to drive into flood water because of the danger of underwater obstructions, missing manhole covers etc.
  • B1222 @ Naburn is still closed (1300hrs Thursday)
  • Traffic lights at Walmgate Bar and on Foss Islands Road (Morrisons) are still not working

 

Floods update; River levels, traffic information, volunteering, donations, safety

All the working river gauges continue to show reducing levels.

The Environment Agency is still reporting that the gauge at the Foss basin is still out of action. However a separate web page (below) puts the Foss basin river level at 4.8 metres (which is very low)

Blue Beck click to update

Blue Beck click to update

Foss basin click to update

Foss basin click to update

Holgate beck 1500

Skelton Poppleton click to update

Skelton Poppleton click to update

Tang Hall beck click to update

Tang Hall Beck click

Ouse Bridge (Viking) click to update

Ouse Bridge (Viking) click to update

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the latest traffic and travel information please visit: www.itravelyork.info/journey-planning/roadworks-and-road-closures

Council staff are also going door-to door to residents’ homes affected by the floods today, to offer help and support, including leaflets and information.

Financial support is available for residents and businesses. Click for more details

Education teams are also contacting headteachers ahead of some schools reopening next week, to provide direct advice/support.

Up-to-date figures indicate that around 767 properties (602 residential and 165 commercial), have been directly affected by flooding in the City centre.

Flooding advice for businesses

 

The Council says it is  working with Make It York, who are meeting with/contacting those businesses directly affected with advice and support (although neither their web site or that of the York BID have been updated since the crisis developed).

If your business has been affected by flooding please see the Health and Safety Executive’s advice on recovering your business.

If your food business has been affected by flooding please see our Flooding advice for food businesses webpage. 

The council’s customer contact centre is running as normal. The number to call is 01904 551550 the email address is flood@york.gov.uk.

Offers of help

We would like to thank everyone who has already helped or offered their support. We are currently working to co-ordinate what is needed and who can help out, whether this is by giving time to help or donating supplies.

If you would like to offer any support in the recovery effort, please email us with your details to flood@york.gov.uk or call 01904 551550.

We are actively looking for volunteers to help with the clean up at the Guildhall  tomorrow (31 December) 9am-5pm too. Products have been kindly provided by Asda and Nestle, please wear suitable outdoor clothing.

Residents have been extremely generous in giving donations to their local collection points, organised by local communities in York. We understand that many are now at, or approaching, capacity and will find it difficult to accept any more. Please make sure that you call them first, prior to dropping off your donations.

Donate to the York Flood Appeal

The York flood appeal is a new appeal to support people who have been affected by the flood in York in December 2015 and you can donate online.

Alternatively you can donate by sending a cheque. Please make it payable to Two Ridings Community Foundation, write York Flood Appeal on the back and send it to: Two Ridings Community Foundation, Suite 1.34, The Innovation Centre, York Science Park, York YO10 5DG.

The appeal is set up by The York Disaster Fund and is to benefit people living within the City of York Council boundary. The Fund was set up in 2000 to help the victims of floods in York that year, and has launched this appeal to help this year’s victims of flooding in York. To help make donating easier, The York Disaster Fund charity has partnered with Two Ridings Community Foundation. The Foundation is accepting donations to the fund via an online giving page and cheques sent to its offices in York.

Donate furniture and household goods

The Community Furniture Store in York has opened up today (30 Dec) to take donations until 5pm. They are based at Unit 29, The Raylor Centre, James Street, York, YO10 3D, tel: 01904 426444.

Support for residents and businesses

Following its work to limit the extent and effects of the floods, the council is co-ordinating support for residents and businesses. The page includes information on

  • Waste collections
  • Council tax 
  • Reputable tradespeople
  • Benefits advice 
  • York’s Disaster Fund 
  • Disaster Recovery Fund 
  • Flood safety

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

Road closures and travel information

For the latest on road closures and travel information during the floods please visit the iTravel website which will

The Knavesmire and access roads are still flooded

The Knavesmire and access roads are still flooded

be updated regularly.

Flood warnings

The Environment Agency gives flood warnings for rivers and coasts – see current flood warnings via the Environment Agency’s current flooding information.

Homes at risk from flooding

Find out how to protect your home from floods on the Environment Agency flooding website.

If you live in a flood-risk area you can get warnings sent direct to you by phone, text message or email – contact the Environment Agency’s Floodline on tel: 0345 9881188 for more information.

Public Health

City of York Council has a public health responsibility and works closely with Public Health England, who have a variety of advice for those affected by flooding including:

How to clean your home safely

This leaflet provides important health advice and some basic precautions to keep you and your family safe while cleaning up your flooded home. Public Health England leaflet: How to clean up your home safely (PDF).

Insurance

The Association of British Insurers have some great advice for those recovering from floods. If you have been affected please contact your insurer as they are open and waiting to receive your calls. Information is also available on the insurance process

Floods update: Ouse falls to 4m, roads re-open, bus services returning to normal, clean up underway

The York Council is saying that it has now received adequate donations of everything that is needed except CLEANING MATERIALS.

The river at Ouse Bridge has fallen to 4 metres above normal levels from its Sunday peak of 5.2m.
Ouse Bridge Viking gauge 0800 30th Dec 2015

Ouse Bridge Viking gauge 0800 30th Dec 2015

Most bus services are now operating their normal routes
Bus Services 30th Dec 2015

Bus Services 30th Dec 2015

The Council is providing “clean up” skips in streets affected by flooding
Temporary skips for flood damaged items

You can find skips for flood damaged items in the following locations:

  • Tower St (x2) – inside lane opposite the tower
  • Museum gardens entrance – Museum St
  • Kings Staith
  • Piccadilly (x2) – Pay and Display Bays
  • Merchantgate (x2) – outside Red Lion
  • Fossgate at Bridge (x2)
  • Navigation Road (x4) – in resident parking bays
  • Skeldergate – near cock and bottle
  • Rosemary court (x5) – area in resident parking bays
  • Lower Friargate – in parking bays
  • Peckitt Street (x2) – in parking bays
  • Walmgate (x3) – in Pay and Display bays
  • Huntington Road (x3) – in resident parking bays near roundabout
  • Huntington Road – near bridge
  • Dennison St (x2) – in parking bays
  • Gladstone St (x2) – in parking bays
  • Yearsley Crescent
  • Haley’s Terrace York – in parking bays
  • Somerset Road – on verge
  • River Street
  • Colenso St – in parking bays
  • Lower Darnborough Street – in parking bays
  • Main Street, Acaster Malbis
  • Marlborough Grove
  • Elvington Main Street  

More at https://www.york.gov.uk/flood

All major roads have, or are in the process of, re-opening

Flood update – help for victims

Latest briefing:  The River Ouse levels are now at 4.4m asl. 
Volunteers have made good progress today on cleaning up flood damage at the Merchant Adventures Hall today. They are hoping to have pumps on site tomorrow

Volunteers have made good progress today on cleaning up flood damage at the Merchant Adventures Hall. They are hoping to have pumps on site tomorrow

River levels will continue to fall slowly but we are still expecting further rain for Wednesday so the advice remains  be #floodaware.

Front line teams have worked round the clock to clear roads and as a result most of the main networks are now open. The situation is improving but there is still a lot of work to be done and all agencies continue to work hard to get the city moving and working as normally as can be expected.

The following roads are still closed:

  • A19 Fulford Road/Fordlands Road – could be opened in the morning
  • Fordland Road – 4×4 vehicles are helping to transport people safely through floodwater
  • Skeldergate
  • Walmgate Bar – traffic lights have failed and a diversion is in place for Navigation Road.

For the latest traffic and travel information please visit: www.itravelyork.info/journey-planning/roadworks-and-road-closures

From tomorrow council staff are going door-to door to residents’ homes affected by the floods to offer help and support, including leaflets and information. A copy of the leaflet is attached/available at www.york.gov.uk/floods

The Council claims that financial support is available for residents and businesses (see below).

Around 650 homes and businesses have been directly affected by flooding in the city centre. The Council is still collating figures for outer York.

Communication channels are restored and the Council’s customer contact centre is running as normal.  The number to call is 01904 551550 the email address is flood@york.gov.uk.

Archbishop Holgate School continues to be operational as a rest centre but all residents who were using the centre have been placed into emergency housing (15-20 families).

The York Council has now issued the following statement.

Following its work to limit the extent and effects of the floods, City of York Council is co-ordinating a raft of support for residents and businesses.

Support is available to residents and businesses that may be directly affected by the flooding and could be assessing damage to their homes and any repairs necessary.

From tomorrow council staff are going door-to door to residents’ homes affected by the floods to offer help and support, including leaflets and information. A copy of the leaflet is available at www.york.gov.uk/floods

This support includes:

Waste collections

Anyone whose home is directly affected by flooding and who has home and or contents insurance should seek advice and get permission from their insurers before removing any damaged items. City of York Council will help residents dispose of flood-damaged waste and anyone needing help after their loss adjusters have visited should call 01904 551550. Around 50 skips are being placed around the city in the most affected areas for residents to dispose of their waste. Find these locations at: www.york.gov.uk/floods

Council tax

There are no automatic reductions in council tax or business rates for residential or business properties damaged specifically by flood water. However people whose property is no longer habitable and require major repairs should inform the council tax billing team and ask about their eligibility via 01904 551550 or email council.tax@york.gov.uk while businesses should contact the business rates team also on 01904 551550 or email business.rates@york.gov.uk .

Reputable tradespeople

Households are advised to seek several quotes for repair work from reputable businesses and request references,, where possible, to check on the quality of work. This will enable you to make a more informed decision.

Anyone, including Older and vulnerable residents can use the Home Services Directory a directory of tradespeople who have undergone an assessment procedure. The list is compiled by Age UK York and is available through the charity or online via www.york.gov.uk/tradingstandards

Meanwhile anyone who believes they may have been approached by a rogue trader or pressurised to buy something they don’t want should contact the Citizens Advice Bureau helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

Benefits advice

Every year thousands of people in York lose out on extra income – and that could include those affected by the flooding and entitled to help? Up to one in three people miss out because they do not claim allowances or benefits, discounts or exemptions. City of York Council’s Benefits Advisers are here to help you check entitlements and to help with applications. Contact the team on 01904 551550.

York’s Disaster Fund

Residents of the City of York whose homes have been flooded, who are on a low income, have little capital and who are not adequately insured, may be eligible for help from York’s Disaster Fund, a registered charity which was established after flooding in York in 2000. Applications to the charity may be made at any time. Businesses are not eligible for help from this fund. For more information about how to apply for a grant, please call City of York Council on 01904 551550.

Disaster Recovery Fund

The recovery fund is supported by Government funding for residents and businesses to pay for additional measures over and above the costs of repairs that would normally be covered by insurance.

Support is available to support small and medium sized businesses to develop and implement business recovery plans. Eligible businesses are able to claim for costs which could include immediate clean-up costs, materials, exceptional business costs (such as hire of drying equipment) and temporary accommodation to enable these businesses to continue trading. Business continuity planning and marketing costs could also be covered.  More information will be available soon at www.york.gov.uk/floods

Floods update: More roads reopened, major drop in Foss river level

This is the current list of roads still closed in York
Road closure list 1400 29th Dec 2015
The Viking recorder at Ouse bridge is showing the Ouse river level has now fallen to 4.5m above normal levels. It peaked at 5.2m on Sunday.

The webcam is also back on line

Ouse flood cam 1427 29th Dec 2015

Ouse flood cam 1427 29th Dec 2015

The Foss, measured at Huntington, has fallen from a high of 2.9m to 1.5m at 1400 hrs today.