Council's response to Monday's surface water flooding
Tuesday, 22 November 2016
Calderdale Council is continuing the clean up after a short period of intense rain and strong wind caused surface flooding in Calderdale yesterday (Monday 21 November).
50 flooding reports
The Council received around 50 reports of significant localised surface flooding. The flood sirens were used last night but no river flooding was reported. By 9pm most of the water had drained away.
13 weather warnings
There were 13 weather warnings in place for the borough yesterday. The Council, the Environment Agency, emergency services and other organisations were working hard to prepare before the storm hit, with measures, plans and extra resources in place. For the Council this included clearing leaves, removing debris, checking culverts and putting sandbags on the highways to keep roads safe and clear.
"Safer, Cleaner, Greener teams"
The forecasting did not indicate the full extent of the storm that took place last night. However, on the basis of the information we had we deployed our Highways and Safer, Cleaner, Greener teams throughout the day so we were able to respond as weather conditions worsened.
Since the start of November the Council's Safer, Cleaner, Greener teams have been out manually clearing leaves and using gully wagons and sweepers across Calderdale, with concentrated efforts in the Upper Valley.
Leaves and gullies
This has been supplemented by Highways teams going out with a large sweeper in flood-prone areas. A large-scale leaf removal had already started before the bad weather hit. The Council cleans gullies on main roads and in flood-prone areas every three months, in addition to the Safer, Cleaner, Greener team's regular work.
However, the intensity of yesterday's weather led to further impact on gullies as further leaves were falling from trees in the strong winds. The Council had six teams and gully wagons out dealing with blocked gullies. Extra resources are out clearing gullies and leaves over the coming days to continue the clean up and address the impact of the storm.
It is important that people report any blocked gullies to the Council so that it knows where to focus its efforts. This can be done online at www.calderdale.gov.uk – search for 'blocked gullies'.
The Council, Environment Agency, emergency services and other organisations worked together throughout yesterday evening, with additional crews working across Calderdale and an excellent community response with flood wardens out supporting people. They also continue to work in partnership to help Calderdale be more flood resilient, with the role of the local community being pivotal to protecting the borough from future flooding.
The Mytholmroyd Information Centre in the Community Centre car park has been open today for any residents to drop in and ask questions.
Cllr Tim Swift, Calderdale Council's Leader, said, "Council teams were out across the borough yesterday, working hard to reduce flooding impacts and cleaning up affected areas. Once again I'd like to thank Council staff, our partner organisations and the local volunteers and community groups for the way they responded. We always do everything we can to prepare for bad weather, and our programme of gully clearing throughout this month is one example of this. We will continue to learn how we can improve our response and will be out in our communities and cleaning up the borough."
The Environment Agency and contractors have been working round the clock in Calderdale to inspect all its flood defences and assets as well as working with communities and partners. It will continue to monitor the situation as river levels fall.
West Yorkshire Police were supporting the response, conducting vulnerability checks to residents, assisting with stranded vehicles and providing the public with support where needed.
During emergencies sandbags may be available for residents and businesses from flood stores run by the local flood groups with Council support. People are strongly encouraged to be prepared for flooding – advice is available at www.calderdale.gov.uk/environment/flooding People can get involved with their local flood group – details are available at www.eyeoncalderdale.com
Grants and support
Residents and businesses are also reminded that grants and support are available to help them make their properties more resilient. For example, the Repair and Renew grant of up to £5000 is available for work to protect against future flooding. Find out more at online here
For updates and advice before, during and after flooding, follow the Council @Calderdale on Twitter and visit www.eyeoncalderdale.com