FLOOD warnings remain in force in Ryedale as river levels are expected to remain high throughout this week.

The Environment Agency (EA) is urging people to avoid low-lying footpaths and roads near rivers which may be flooded as response staff continue to monitor the situation.

Emergency pumps remain in place in Malton, Norton and Old Malton, and floodgates are closed, along with the pedestrian floodgates along riverside walk between Malton and Norton.

A spokesperson for the EA said: “The flood alert for the Upper Derwent remains in force as river levels remain high due to recent rainfall and melting snow.

“Consequently, flooding of roads and farmland is expected to continue. Areas most at risk are low lying land and roads downstream of Yedingham and around Malton.

“Levels at Malton have now peaked, but will remain high. Our incident response staff are closely monitoring the forecast.”

A flood warning remains in force for the River Derwent at Buttercrambe Mill, as river levels have continued to rise very slowly, due to recent rainfall and melting snow. Consequently, the risk of flooding to property continues. Areas most at risk are properties at Buttercrambe Mill.

The spokesperson said: “Please avoid using low lying footpaths near local watercourses, and plan driving routes to avoid low lying roads near rivers which may be flooded.”

Cllr Martin Dales, town councillor and flood warden, said he had been keeping a close eye on Old Malton and Malton.

“A flood alert is still in force and and two pumps are still operating to send catwell water into the River Derwent,” he added.

A spokesperson from Ryedale District Council (RDC) said: “RDC continues to coordinate work with our partners including Environment Agency, Yorkshire Water and North Yorkshire County Council as part of the Multi Agency Pump Plan to manage the flood response in Malton, Norton and Old Malton.

“We are in close contact with the Environment Agency to monitor the ongoing high river levels, and everything is well in hand as it stands. There are currently four pumps dealing with the surface water, and additional pumps are in position and can be turned on as necessary.

“There are no roads closed and no risks to homes or property have been reported. Nevertheless, we will continue to keep a careful watch and the team is ready to respond quickly if necessary.”

In November 2000, the River Derwent hit an all-time flooding peak in Malton and Norton at 19 metres deep, 3.5 metres higher than the average for the time of year.

For more information on flooding alerts, go to flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/warnings