Hundreds of student homes could be among those being advised to prepare for evacuation by the Environment Agency.
The government body are warning households close to the River Foss to prepare for evacuation, and advising valuables be taken upstairs in properties.
Severe flood warnings in place where there are high levels of student housing include: Osbaldwick, Tang Hall, Foss Island and the city centre. Lawrence Street is also covered by the warning.
Severe flood warnings are issued when there is thought to be a danger to life, requiring residents to take immediate action.
The University issued a statement this morning assuring students they were working with the City Council to offer whatever help they could provide to the wider community.
A University spokesperson said: “Any students or staff who need help should contact the Security team on 323333 or via the SafeZone app.”
The Environment Agency has also said it does not expect either of York’s rivers to peak until Monday.
YUSU Community and Well-being Officer Scott Dawson said: “If you are in a area at risk of flooding and are currently still in York then please do as it advised via the GOV.UK flood warning website and move valuables upstairs to safety and await further developments and information.”
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In a statement, the Agency said: “Because of water entering the Foss Barrier building the pumps are in danger of failing due to electrical failure.
“The decision has been taken to lift the Foss Barrier as if it fails in the down position water will be unable to discharge into the River Ouse.
“The immediate area at risk is the city centre and areas of Huntington, Tang Hall, Osbaldwick and Foss Islands.
“People in these areas should start to move valuables to upper floors and be prepared to be evacuated.”