ALL planned surgery was cancelled at a North Yorkshire hospital today due to rising floodwater.

Firefighters pumped water from the grounds of the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton after a nearby stream overflowed.

An NHS spokesman said three theatres had been closed due to drainage issues, resulting in ten operations being cancelled.

She added: "As a result the trust has made the decision at 11.30am to cancel all elective (planned) surgery today.

"The occupational therapy department has also had to close.

"Along with the fire service, the staff are working hard to keep the hospital working as normal and we are continuing to monitor the situation."

A North Yorkshire Fire Service spokesman confirmed that two pumps were being used to clear the car park and surrounding areas.

He said the water was being pumped almost a mile away as there are fears neighbouring houses may be at risk.

Firefighters brought in two heavy duty pumps to try and divert water out of Sun Beck which runs round the back of the hospital.  But this meant water was sent cascading through Northallerton Town Centre causing some flooding in several shops and the partial closure of the High Street.

Fire and Rescue officers are now trying to divert the water away from the town centre and Sun Beck pumping it towards Willow beck which runs round the other side of Northallerton.

The brigade also rescued two motorists in separate incidents today after they tried to drive through floods.

David Pitt, Station Manager for Northallerton, said:”I have been here 13 years and I have never seen it like this.  Our main problem is trying to keep water from the back of the hospital building which is where the main operating theatres are.
“The hardest part is finding somewhere to send the water and we are working with the Environment Agency, this has been a difficult operation because of the sheer volume of water.”

Firefighters were also called to isolated flooding at homes in Stokesley, Thirsk and Knaresborough, the spokesman added.

In the flood-prone city of York, the River Ouse burst its banks, engulfing riverside buildings in the city centre.

The Kings Arms public house, which famously displays a wall chart in the bar to show how submerged it has been by previous floods, was under around a metre of water this morning.

Water was being pumped out via a pipe through the letter box, despite a flood defence shutter covering the front door.