Ripon and B’bridge hit by heavy rain

Severe rainfall in the Ripon area has caused chaos with roads and schools forced to close and people’s homes flooded.

In 48 hours, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service received more than 400 calls after the excessive rain began to fall on Sunday, September 23.

Managing director at Ripon Racecourse James Hutchinson  by the course's winning post . (GL 1081)

Managing director at Ripon Racecourse James Hutchinson by the course's winning post . (GL 1081)

The constant deluge of rain continued for three days and led to the highest-ever water level being recorded at the River Ure in the early hours of Wednesday morning –3.86m, beating the record set back in 2005 by 13cm.

Angela Whitlock, of River View Road near North Bridge, found raw sewage seeping into her cellar on Wednesday afternoon just a year after new drains were installed for her septic tank.

The 50-year-old said: “The smell was appalling as the sewage ran out of the drive and into the rear of the house, collecting at the rear door and eventually flooding the cellar. It was horrible.”

Earlier, in the early hours of Wednesday morning, fire crews in Boroughbridge had rescued two people from their canal boat home near Milby Island after the vessel started taking water on board.

The service was also called to properties on Fisher Green in Ripon, and Bridge Street and Minerva Court in Boroughbridge after their occupants reported flooding.

Meanwhile, in Ripon, a herd of sheep was swept away by an influx of water over-filling land owned by John Newbury on Little Studley Road.

He said: “The look on their faces said they knew their time had come.”

However, there was a happy ending as the sheep eventually swam to safety.

The extreme weather also led to six roads closing in Ripon, including the C233 Sharow Road off Ripon bypass and the B6265 between the racecourse and Bridge Hewick.

Four schools – Bedale High School, Bedale Primary School, Roecliffe Primary School and Masham CE Primary School – were also closed on Wednesday due to the weather.

Ripon Racecourse has also been forced to abandon its last meeting of the season which had been scheduled for Saturday, August 29, after the course was flooded.

At the time the Gazette went to press yesterday (Wednesday), water levels on the River Ure at Ripon had begun to fall.

Forecasters were predicting the rain was set to stop later today (Thursday) with sunny intervals over the weekend.