'Nightmare' flooding hits York after rivers overflow

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image copyrightGetty Images
image captionResidents on Huntington Road in York filled sandbags to shore up their flood defences

Hundreds of people in York are being evacuated as "nightmare" flooding continues to batter parts of northern England.

Six severe flood warnings are now in place across the city after the Rivers Foss and Ouse burst their banks.

Up to 3,500 properties in the city are at risk and between 300 and 400 people are being evacuated.

Several residents near the River Foss are though to be trapped in their homes.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionA woman got a piggy-back across a flooded street

A man waiting to be evacuated from his home nearby said there were about a dozen people stuck in flats surrounded by water.

"It is really alarming. The whole of town is flooded, it is really extreme - I've never seen anything like this," he said.

"Half of York is underwater."

image copyrightAFP/Getty
image captionWater rose around properties in Huntington Road
image copyrightAFP/Getty
image captionBins were afloat in this alleyway with rubbish strewn about

Residents described the water surging through the city as a "nightmare".

Erica Hammill, who runs Hotel 53 in the Piccadilly area of York, said they are desperately trying to stem the flood damage.

"Our hotel guests are having to climb out of the ground floor windows to get out because the reception area is flooded," she said.

"It's a nightmare. We are getting supplies, sandbags, pumps to mop up the flood damage. But water is coming back in."

image copyrightAFP/Getty
image captionThe banks of both the River Foss and Ouse burst over the weekend

Sarah Lakin, who owns The Fossgate Social cafe-bar, had to close last night after water began to flood the cellar. She said the damage was worse on Sunday.

"I've come in this morning and it's right up to the top of the cellar so we're now lifting everything up another floor," she said. "It's a couple of grand [of equipment] gone under water."

Lisa Pallister, 36, was rescued from her home in the Huntington area of the city by boat.

"We didn't think it would reach us because we're raised off the ground and have three storeys but, by this morning, it was on the steps, so we had a boat ride out," she said.

"We're feeling all right. A bit tired, a bit shocked. We're lucky though, a lot of other residents were flooded last night early on."

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image captionUp to 3,500 properties are thought to be affected
image copyrightReuters
image captionThe Army and search and rescue volunteers have been drafted in to help with flooding in the city

Janice Findlay has described how water poured into her home.

"The water was coming in a foot every twenty minutes, then another foot, then another foot," she said. "Then we realised we had to get everything out.

"The water then became very dirty, black."

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image captionCars are submerged across the city
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionResidents attempted to stem the flow of water with sandbags

Student Alex Light said the scale of the flooding in the city is worse than previous years.

"The general atmosphere is that it's quite bad," he said. "York has flooded [previously], however it's usually only one of the rivers that floods and this time it's both of them.

"So instead of just a few areas being hit it's the whole city."

York resident Andy Tricklebank said the floods were worse than those suffered in 2002.

"The river has been high for months, so the flooding on top of that has made things worse," he added.

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