North Yorkshire: Lifeboats replace cars on flooded roads

Members of the Army and rescue teams help evacuate people from flooded properties after they became trapped by rising floodwater when the River Ouse bursts its banks in York city centre. (John Giles/PA Wire)

Members of the Army and rescue teams help evacuate people from flooded properties after they became trapped by rising floodwater when the River Ouse bursts its banks in York city centre. (John Giles/PA Wire)

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Unprecedented flooding across North Yorkshire has transformed rivers into lakes, left roads and fields submerged and people and animals stranded.

On the ground, the flood waters have devastated hundreds of homes; from the air, the extent of the flooding was staggering.

Between Sherburn-in-Elmet and York, large areas of land were underwater for as far as the eye could see.

The banks of the River Wharfe, which runs through the centre of Tadcaster, and the River Ouse, which flows through York, could no longer be seen in many places, the water spilling over into surrounding fields.

In the village of Cawood, the road bridge that crosses the Ouse was completely submerged, leaving residents cut off.

And a flock of sheep in a nearby submerged field could be seen huddled together on the one small patch of dry land.

Floodwater covers land between Thorpe Arch Estate and Newton Kyme after the River Wharfe burst its banks. Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Floodwater covers land between Thorpe Arch Estate and Newton Kyme after the River Wharfe burst its banks. Joe Giddens/PA Wire

A caravan park outside the village was left underwater, with one family seeking refuge on the roof of their mobile home with as many of their belongings as they could salvage.

In Tadcaster, beer barrels were left floating in a newly formed lake in the yard of one of the town’s breweries, while a Sainsbury’s supermarket could barely be seen above the flooded car park.

Many roads in the area were closed, with cars driving as far as possible before turning round to try to find a different route.

In York, a city that is used to regular flooding on a lesser scale, lifeboats replaced cars on the many flooded roads as rescue teams patrolled the streets, helping to evacuate residents from their homes.

The Knavesmire Racecourse in York covered in floodwater after  the River Ouse bursts its banks. John Giles/PA Wire

The Knavesmire Racecourse in York covered in floodwater after the River Ouse bursts its banks. John Giles/PA Wire

Many vehicles had been abandoned as the flood waters had risen.

Golf courses and football pitches were left waterlogged and large ponds had formed on York Racecourse, on the outskirts of the city.

Safe from the flooding were York Minster and Clifford’s Tower, two familiar landmarks in an unfamiliar landscape.

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Floodwater surrounds houses in Cawood, North Yorkshire after the River Ouse burst its banks. Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Floodwater surrounds houses in Cawood, North Yorkshire after the River Ouse burst its banks. Joe Giddens/PA Wire

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A Christmas tree on the roof of a shop in Tadcaster, stands above the flooded streets of the town after the River Wharfe broke its banks. John Giles/PA Wire

A Christmas tree on the roof of a shop in Tadcaster, stands above the flooded streets of the town after the River Wharfe broke its banks. John Giles/PA Wire

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