Tonnes of debris removed from River Nidd at Knaresborough following floods

Clearing debris will improve the flow of water helping to redue the risk of flooding

Clearing debris will improve the flow of water helping to redue the risk of flooding

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An estimated 15 tonnes of debris that was obstructing water flow on Knaresborough's River Nidd has been cleared by the Environment Agency (EA).

The huge amounts of debris had been washed downstream following the Christmas flooding with the EA warning it could cause a potential flood risk.

Around 15 tonnes of debris were removed from the river (S)

Around 15 tonnes of debris were removed from the river (S)

If the timber, and other floating debris, accumulated against the Low Bridge's central pier, it could eventually grow to block its arches, the EA said.

An operations team from the EA used chainsaws to cut the branches from a boat in the river during the removal process on Sunday, March 13.

The larger pieces of debris were then lifted by a crane into a wagon on the bridge.

Andrew Gannaway, part of the operations delivery team at the EA, said the work was essential to prevent flooding and usually needed to be done every two years.

Knaresborough floods. Picture: Alex Lambley

Knaresborough floods. Picture: Alex Lambley

He said: "This operation is part of the Environment Agency’s ongoing recovery work following the floods at Christmas, to reduce the risk of flooding to people and properties.

"Clearing the debris at Low Bridge is quite an important job because it can and does accumulate against the central pier of the bridge, and if it isn’t removed it would eventually block the water flow underneath the bridge arches."

Many Knaresborough residents and business were badly affected when the River Nidd burst its banks following heavy rainfall over Christmas.

Properties and businesses near the town's waterside, as well as homes at Nidderdale Lodge Park, were flooded with many roads closed and events having to be rescheduled.

A flooded cafe next to the river Nidd in Knaresborough.

A flooded cafe next to the river Nidd in Knaresborough.