Eight new pumps will be in place by mid-October sufficient to protect York if rivers rise to the record levels seen last winter. (UK Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs photo)

New Pumps Strengthen Foss Barrier's Power Against Floods

UK Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom announced new state-of-the-art pumps for the York barrier, saying they providing a 66 percent increase in capacity. Major flooding a year ago caused significant damage after the UK Environment Agency raised the barrier to prevent damage to it.

The British government continues to strengthen flood defenses in York, with UK Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom announcing new state-of-the-art pumps are being installed in the Foss Barrier, which was built in 1987 to protect Yorkshire from floods caused by the River Ouse. The pumps can move an Olympic-size swimming pool's worth of water in just 50 seconds, providing a 66 percent increase in capacity, Leadsom said Sept. 26.

They are being added as part of a $21 million upgrade that includes raising the pump room next year. Eight new pumps will be in place by mid-October sufficient to protect York if rivers rise to the record levels seen last winter, and the barrier's capacity will be further increased next year through upgrades to its power supply.

"The flooding of the Foss Barrier became a focal point of last winter's devastating floods and I am delighted to see it strengthened ahead of this winter, with £17 million invested, so our great city of York is better protected than ever before," Leadson said. "Of course, we can't stop the rain falling and rivers rising, but I want people to be assured we are doing everything we can to keep our communities as safe as possible. That's why we're investing £400 million in flood defense schemes across Yorkshire, up until 2021, to better protect homes and families."

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