North Yorkshire residents who need to leave home due to flooding 'will not be penalised' despite lockdown
Residents who need to leave their homes if they flood will not be penalised for staying with friends or relatives, officials have said.
It comes as Storm Christoph has brought heavy rain to the district this week and water levels on the River Nidd have been rising, putting areas like Knaresborough at significant risk of being hit by floods.
Anyone who is not shielding and has not tested positive for coronavirus who needs to leave their home will be able to stay with family and friends who are also not shielding or have tested positive.
North Yorkshire County Council has been assuring residents that plans are in place to safely evacuate and transport people who are shielding who need to leave home, or people who are positive for the virus and self-isolating if there becomes a need for this.
Matthew Robinson, senior resilience and emergencies officer at North Yorkshire County Council, said: “If people are required to leave their property, we will work with an appropriate location for them to go.
“If someone is positive or is self-isolating, we can work together to find an appropriate place for us to go to. Ideally people would use their own transport.
“We’ve got plans that we developed since the beginning of Covid to respond to these types of events.”
Charlotte Bloxham, chief inspector of North Yorkshire Police, said: “In a flooding situation it may not be possible to stay at home.
“I would like to reassure the public that if you are having to take action and go and stay with a family member, we certainly wouldn’t be looking to take enforcement action in those circumstances.”
Knaresborough is one of the most notorious North Yorkshire towns for flooding and is consitently on the list of flood warnings whenever heavy rain falls across the county.
Last year, Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis caused disruption to businesses along the riverside as continous heavy showers caused the River Nidd to burst its banks. Pateley Bridge was also affected by floods.