York is a city in North Yorkshire in the UK which over the years has unfortunately suffered from flooding on both the River Ouse and River Foss both of which run through the city centre of York. As a result, there is a lot of flood prevention investment in the local area.
There are also riverside flood barriers in York, especially close to the rivers in the centre, including most notably the Foss Barrier, which is at the confluence of the two rivers close the city centre.
The York Flood Maps included in this article come courtesy of the GOV.uk flood risk website, and we have collated them in one place which contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0
The first York Flood Map below shows the areas at risk in and around the city of York from rivers and the sea (not surface water). The colours shown on the map are based on the following:
Further down this article we are going to show the areas in more detail in 5 ares:
- Flood Risk Map for York City Centre – e.g. Clifton and Tang Hall
- Flood Risk Map for North East York – e.g. Haxby and Wigginton
- Flood Risk Map for South East York – e.g. Heslington and Fulford
- Flood Risk Map for South West York – e.g. Bishopthorpe and Dringhouses
- Flood Risk Map for North West York – e.g. Rawcliffe and Poppleton
As a company who not only specialises in water leak detection, but also flood damage repairs, we are familiar with helping people after their properties have been flooded in York and the areas around, many of which are shown on the York flood map above, including high risk flood areas.
York Flood Map – Risk Tiers
We mentioned above that the York Flood Map from the UK Environment agency classifies the tiers of flood risk in York and other areas as:
- High Risk – “means that each year this area has a chance of flooding of greater than 3.3%. This takes into account the effect of any flood defences in the area. These defences reduce but do not completely stop the chance of flooding as they can be overtopped, or fail”.
- Medium Risk – “means that each year this area has a chance of flooding of between 1% and 3.3%. This takes into account the effect of any flood defences in the area. These defences reduce but do not completely stop the chance of flooding as they can be overtopped, or fail”.
- Low Risk – “means that each year this area has a chance of flooding of between 0.1% and 1%. This takes into account the effect of any flood defences in the area. These defences reduce but do not completely stop the chance of flooding as they can be overtopped, or fail”.
- Very Low Risk – “means that each year this area has a chance of flooding of less than 0.1%. This takes into account the effect of any flood defences in the area. These defences reduce but do not completely stop the chance of flooding as they can be overtopped, or fail”.
You can see on our short video below what it looks like when if floods in York City Centre, this picture is taken on Ouse Bridge close to the infamous Kings Arms Pub in York.
As you can see, it is usually riverside properties (next to the River Ouse) in York that get affected the most. Many of them have their own flood prevention measures and clean-up processes after flooding in the area.
Before we look at the York Flood Map in more detail, we thought it would be useful to answer a question that is sometimes asked about flooding in York;
How often does York Flood?
The first thing to point out is that there is obviously different degrees of flooding in York, from the river being high all the way to a major flood event such as those in the 2000 and 2015 – you can read more about in the article about Viking Recorder in York, which is the river monitoring station close to the city centre.
The other thing to say is that, especially when looking years ahead, flooding is (a) unpredictable in terms of predicting exactly when it will occur and (b) just because something is a 1% (once in 100 years) event, it doesn’t mean it will be exactly 100 years later. Clearly it is sporadic.
That said, and simply to give an indication of probabilities over time we have looked at each of the York flood map tiers over a number of years. Clearly, the more years you look at, the more likely something is to happen.
These numbers are simply indicative examples – do not rely on them as fact!
Let’s start with the summary of probabilities:
By way of example, and remembering what we said above, let’s look at ‘medium risk’
- The York flood map on the Environment Agency site says;
- “Between 1% and 3.3%” each year
- So we took the average of 2.15% (1%+3.3% = 4.3% / 2 = 2.15%)
- That means that the inverse (the chances of it not happening) are;
- 100% – 2.15% = 97.85%
- Repeating that over 5 years is 97.85 ^ 5 = 89.70%
- That is 89.7% chance of it not happening over 5 years
- Which means a 10.3% chance of happening (100% – 89.7%)
- Again this is only an estimate but it shows how it adds up
This methodology (for the 5 year period) can be seen in more detail below:
You can see the 10.3% example shown above at the bottom of the orange column.
Lets now look at the York flood map for each of the areas in more detail. Remember on the government Flood Risk Website you can check the flood risk of individual postcodes and properties to get a more detailed flood risk, including for rivers & seas and from surface water separately too.
All these maps are from the time of writing in May 2022, and they may be updated on the website we just mentioned so check that for the latest maps. Clearly something that can impact flood risk in York is the investment in flood defences which are clearly designed at reducing flood risk in certain areas.
York Flood Map – City Centre
Here is the York Flood Map for the city centre:
As you can see, in general and unsurprisingly, the higher risk areas are in locations close to the River Ouse and River Foss, including the areas around the York Bridges in the city centre.
A couple of other areas are interesting, like the area in Holgate around Holgate Beck but also the patch over the Knavesmire which is far from any water. Why is does the Knavesmire flood sometimes when it is quite a distance from the River Ouse?
Basically it is very low lying ground in the city and, over the years, has had standing water on it, occasionally getting flooded. The Knavesmire is perhaps most famous for York Racecourse now. In fact, further to our previous point, in recent years they have spent money on improving the drainage of the actual racecourse themselves.
Flood Risk Map – North East York
Here is the York Flood Map for the North East of the city:
As you can see from this York Flood map of the North East of the city. There are four main areas with elevated flood risk in this part around the city of York:
- The route of the River Foss heading up past New Earswick and then past Haxby and Strensall areas. This is the upstream route of the Foss and ultimately ends up at the River Foss Source. You can see this in more detail on our page showing a River Foss Map and route, including a video of the source.
- The second more or less follows the route of Tang Hall Beck beyond Stockton Lane and out towards Stockton on the Forest where it becomes ‘Old Foss Beck’
- The third is along the route of Osbaldwick Beck.
- The fourth is the area to the South of Dunnington
Flood Risk Map – South East York
Here is the York Flood Map for the South East of the city:
As you can see from this York Flood map of the South East of the city. There are three main areas with elevated flood risk in this part around the city of York:
- The part on the left around Fulford (East of the Ouse) and south of Heslington not far from the University, along Germany Beck which has had problems with flooding in the past.
- The second in the middle of the map is a continuation of the area south of Dunnington mentioned above. On the map, part of it is called ‘Howden Jury Drain’ which we must confess are not familiar with.
- To the right of the map you can see the area around Elvington and Sutton on Derwent, which gives a clue as to the source of this elevated risk which is the River Derwent, which eventually flows south meeting the River Ouse close to Barmby on the Marsh and Drax.
Flood Risk Map – South West York
Here is the York Flood Map for the South West of the city:
As you can see from this York Flood map of the South West of the city. There are three main areas with elevated flood risk in this part around the city of York:
- Starting most obviously on the right hand side of the map, is the continuation of the River Ouse heading south past Bishopthorpe, Acaster, Naburn and Stillington. From that point the river goes further south heading towards the River Humber in Hull. Before that it passes, Cawood, Barlby, Selby and Goole.
- The bottom left is the River Wharfe which to the left of this map passes Tadcaster and Wetherby. You can find out more about the River Wharfe on our page about Yorkshire Rivers and Yorkshire Dales Rivers too.
- The third area in the middle is the area past Appletont Roebuck heading north east towards Bishopthope which seems to be a variety of becks and drainage systems in rural areas.
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Flood Risk Map – South West York
Here is the York Flood Map for the South West of the city:
As you can see from this York Flood map of the North West of the city. There are two main areas with elevated flood risk in this part around the city of York:
- Starting in the bottom right you can see the continuation of the River Ouse, upstream past Nether Poppleton, Beningbrough, Nun Monkton (where the confluence of the Ouse and River Nidd is), past Newton-on-Ouse on towards the source of the River Ouse.
- The River Nidd south of the previous point passing by Moor Monkton and Kirk Hammerton which eventually (upstream) goes past Harrogate and Knaresborough.
We hope you found our article looking at York Flood maps useful, here are a few other articles you might find interesting on similar topics:
- Fishlake Flooding – River Don, South Yorkshire
- Things to do in York – Top 5 Best (Many Free)
- Yorkshire Water Leak – at Your Home
- Flood Damage Services
- Winter Flood Safety Tips
We are experts in dealing with flood water damage for people in the York and Yorkshire Coast area, so if you have been flooded, please contact our friendly team to arrange for help and guidance. We also deal with Asbestos Testing in York and the surrounding area, helping local homes and businesses. Here are the local areas we cover.
At Rainbow Restoration – York & Yorkshire Coast we are experts in Leak Detection, including Commercial Leak Detection and also Fire and Flood Restoration, so if you need help finding a water leak or getting your property back to normal after a leak or flood, get in touch with our friendly local team who will be happy to help you with this. We are based in York.
Is York a flood risk area?
Like other cities in the UK with rivers flowing through them, York does have some areas which are at higher risk of flooding which can be seen on the maps shown above. Most of these areas are located closer to the River Ouse and River Foss in York. However, although York does flood, most of the city does not flood and they are at low or very low flood risk. You can check flood risk of any York postcode on the environment agency website.
Is there any flooding in York?
If you are interested in knowing if there is any flooding in York right now then the best place to get the latest information and predictions is the UK environment agency website. They have several monitoring stations in the city and they update their information regularly, including using information from monitoring stations further upstream.