Capturing the Devastating York Floods of 1982: 10 Unforgettable Photos
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Capturing the Devastating York Floods of 1982: 10 Unforgettable Photos

Many readers will still have memories of the floods of January1982 in York city centre.

The floods prompted a call to protect the city from future deluges – in the shape of the Foss Barrier, which came into effect five years later in 1987.

Our photos from The Press archive show some of the devastation wrought by the 1982 flood including large parts of the city centre under water.

A mounted policeman at Tower Street tries to navigate the flood water

One photo shows Clifton Green under water.

Another takes us to Knavesmire, which looks more like a lake.

At Fishergate, a van ploughs through floodwater outside the Mason’s Arms.

And at Clifford Street, a mounted policeman on duty picks his way through the flooded road.

Marygate was under water and one of our photos shows another officer making his way along the raised wooden platforms at the corner of Hetherton Street.

On the other side of Bootham, The Red Seal Rescue Unit and Army Craft helped residents of Longfield Terrace and Sycamore Place escape the rising waters by boat.

In another photo, the river marker at Ouse Bridge, York, shows the level at nearly 16ft 6in.

The river levels peaked at 16ft 7in.

The flood brought York to a standstill. Police called a curfew at 3pm, by which time the city centre was to be evacuated.

Almost all routes in and out of the city were blocked.

Following this flood, the Foss Barrier was installed, which did a good job of keeping the city centre dry until its catastrophic failure in 2015 which caused devastating flooding once again in York.

In 2000, York’s river levels reached record levels when the Ouse peaked at 17f 10in above normal, again causing misery for households and businesses across the city and surrounding communities.

If you love looking at old photos of York, make sure to buy The Press every Wednesday for our weekly nostalgia supplement and join us in our Facebook group, Why We Love York – Memories.

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