Pioneering plans for reducing flood risk in the Calder Valley are launched
Saturday, 28 October 2017
An ambitious and innovative pilot to reduce flooding in Calderdale was launched yesterday.
The first of up to 200,000 trees have been planted as one of a series of measures planned that will help slow the flow of flood water in the Calder Valley. As well as the trees, a wide range of initiatives such as leaky dams and blanket bog restoration will be introduced to the landscape to help reduce flood risk and an enhance the environment.
Alongside this landscape project, Yorkshire Water intends to trial a change in how some of the reservoirs above Hebden Bridge are managed this winter. Yorkshire Water has been working with the Environment Agency and Defra since the Boxing Day 2015 floods to understand the wider implications that changes in reservoir operation could have on water supply in Yorkshire. More info
Cllr Josh Fenton-Glynn has welcomed these initiatives: "I am pleased Yorkshire Water announced this week they are going to pilot holding reservoirs part empty above Hebden Bridge, as the Environment Agency suggest it could have a huge impact on preventing flooding. It was something I first challenged Yorkshire Water on at Calderdale Councils Flooding Scrutiny Panel on April 6 this year."
Meanwhile, Calderdale Council is thanking communities across the borough for their fantastic efforts during and after the surface flooding on Saturday 21 October.
Once again, Calderdale’s incredible community spirit shone through, with dozens of people working tirelessly to help keep others safe and clean up affected areas.
Cllr Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s Leader, said, “We’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who gave their all to help people affected by the surface flooding. As always, our amazing communities pulled together and worked tirelessly to support each other. Dozens of volunteers, flood wardens, flood group members, residents and businesses made an immense contribution to the work of the Council and other organisations.”
Flood wardens – the Environment Agency’s ‘eyes and ears’ on the ground – and other volunteers joined Council and partner staff in the Operation Calderdale 2017 training exercise last Friday. This gave everyone the opportunity to rehearse the action they would take in the event of a flood.
The exercise helped to prepare teams for the surface flooding the day after, and the wardens reported feeling more confident after the training and ready to take on more tasks during a flood.
This highlights the growing strength of Calderdale’s network of local people who provide support during and after flooding – which is even more vital with predictions of more major storms to come this autumn and winter.
To increased preparedness, the Council is looking to build on the team of volunteers who could help communities before, during and after a flood or similar event. This could involve helping out at one of the Council’s six community support hubs or volunteering to be a local flood warden.
The community support hubs are based in Todmorden, Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd, Sowerby Bridge, Elland and Brighouse and are activated to help the community following a flood or similar incident.
If you, or a voluntary group you are involved in, are interested in helping Calderdale communities respond to and recover from any future flooding please email John Beacroft-Mitchell
The Environment Agency recommends three simple steps to help protect you, your family and home from the devastating effects of flooding:
- Check your flood risk – Use the Environment Agency maps to find out if you are at risk from flooding - More info
- Register for Floodline – Sign up on 0345 988 1188 or at at this website
- Do something to be prepared. Start with a quick personal flood plan and find out what the different flood warnings mean. Visit https://www.gov.uk/floodsdestroy
- Advice for people who’ve been flooded is available here
For the latest information on current flood warnings and the local weather forecast, Calderdale residents can visit – the ‘Eye on Calderdale’ website