COMMUNITIES across North Yorkshire are today beginning the clean up after heavy flooding throughout the region.

Although heavy rains were replaced by light showers yesterday, overflowing sewerage systems in Old Malton meant many properties suffered damage.

Claire and Guy Richardson’s home in the town’s main street suffered, but they saved some possessions.

Claire, 38, said: “The flood defences have held which makes a huge difference. The water is at skirting board height. We have got our stuff upstairs and, living next door to the Royal Oak pub, we have taken some empty barrels and put our sofa on top of those.”

Martin Dales, town councillor, said organisations tackling the floods had been “fantastic”, but he hoped it would lead to a new look at protecting the town. He said the sewerage system was unfit for purpose, and urged the district council not to build more housing on fields.

He said: “I hope Yorkshire Water revisit what we hoped they were going to do, post the 2000 flood, and we will have some serious action.”

Miles Simmons of The Wentworth Arms in Old Malton said the pub was still open, despite the floods, but many regulars could not get in. He said: “The lucky thing is that it’s clean water that’s coming in, and hopefully it’ll recede soon. I was up all night mopping out the cellar making sure it didn’t get above a certain level and get into the bar.”