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  1. ITV Report

Storm Ciara: River levels rise in York as the region deals with the aftermath of high winds and torrential rail

Storm Ciara battered the region over the weekend, bringing heavy downpours and gale force winds of up to 80mph.

In York, the River Ouse is more than 3.5m higher than its normal levels. City officials expect water levels to continue rising until five o'clock on Tuesday morning.

Anticipating the highest water levels since the 2015 floods, City of York Council said their preparations would ensure residents and businesses could get on with "business as usual".

  • Cllr Paula Widdowson from City of York Council said the lessons of 2015 had been learnt and emergency services and staff from the Environment Agency were working "beautifully together".

As flood waters recedes in other parts of North Yorkshire, there is still disruption across the region's travel networks.

LNER, which operates the East Cost Mainline, warned of "major disruption across the rail network due to Storm Ciara yesterday with many services cancelled or suspended due to damage or flooding."

The operator also warned that services to London would be exceptionally busy and passengers should expect to stand for part or all of journey.

Overall, the North East escaped the worst of the storm, which grounded hundreds of flights and forced the closure of major motorways and roads elsewhere in the country.

  • In County Durham, High Force waterfall is closed to visitors because of the strong winds.

However, in parts of Northumberland and Teesside, more a month's worth of rain fell in less than 24 hours, leading to pockets of flooding.

  • In Kirk Hammerton, North Yorkshire, horses waded through a flooded field.

All the main rail operators ran a reduced timetable on Sunday and advised against all but essential travel.

Trains that did leave on time were forced to travel at half their normal speed, with some journeys between the North East and London taking up to six hours.

Gail and Matthew Rich from Newcastle were among the travellers caught up in the disruption. Their two daughters have a rare genetic condition called Batten disease, which requires weekly trips to London for treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital. The family praised rail staff for their customer service during the disruption.

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Wintry weather is expected over the coming days, with the Met Office issuing yellow warnings for parts of Northumberland and North Yorkshire.

Snowy conditions at the Tan Hill Inn in Reeth in the Yorkshire Dales, weather warnings for wind, snow and ice have been issued across large parts of the country. Credit: PA Images
  • A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said:

Flooding can have terrible consequences for people, businesses and the environment. It is clear that with Storm Ciara we have seen very severe weather affecting many parts of the country.

We know the devastating impact flooding can have, which is why protecting people continues to be our top priority.

Environment Agency teams remain out on the ground, operating flood defences and supporting communities that have been affected by the severe weather.

– Environment Agency spokesperson