To commemorate the launch of the Calderdale Flood Action Plan, residents and businesses in Calderdale are urged to review their flood preparedness plans and remain vigilant about the ongoing risk of flooding during the autumn and winter seasons.
Calderdale Council advises residents to ensure they are ready for potential flooding and encourages them to visit www.eyeoncalderdale.co.uk for guidance on how to best prepare for various types of flooding. This includes steps to safeguard themselves and their property, as well as information on who to contact for assistance.
Businesses are recommended to revisit their Business Flood Plans in advance of the winter months, ensuring they know what steps to take in the event of a flooding incident. Taking proactive measures to prepare for flooding can result in substantial savings for companies, ranging from 20% to 90% in terms of losses related to stock and movable equipment, and can significantly reduce the challenges, workload, and stress associated with such occurrences.
There are numerous factors that may contribute to an area experiencing flooding. However, communities in Calderdale are particularly vulnerable, with the borough’s distinctive topography rendering it especially prone to floods stemming from various sources, including river overflow, groundwater, surface water, interactions with sewers, canal flooding, and runoff from steep hillsides.
The Council collaborates with its partners to enhance the borough’s resilience to flooding. This October marks seven years since the introduction of the Calderdale Flood Action Plan, a response to the floods of Boxing Day 2015. The plan outlines measures to aid recovery from past floods, mitigate the impact of future floods, and bolster preparedness for upcoming events.
Since 2016, work has been underway on flood schemes throughout the borough. Completed schemes at Bacup Road, Todmorden; Pin Hill Lane, Midgley; Burnt Arces Wood, Eastwood; and Woodland View, Todmorden have shielded over 140 properties.
By 2026, seven flood alleviation schemes are slated for completion in Mytholmroyd, Shaw Wood Road, Brighouse, Copley, Stubbing Holme Road, Erringden, and Hebble Brook. This will offer enhanced protection for over 1,200 properties.
In addition, over 90 sites in the borough have been designated for natural flood management (NFM) since 2016, with £1 million allocated to local landowners to support NFM measures on private land in Calderdale.
In the past year, the Environment Agency has inaugurated a new flood information centre in Hebden Bridge, designed to keep the community informed about efforts to diminish the risk of flooding in the town. This includes updates on the flood alleviation schemes for Hebden Bridge town centre, Stubbing Holme Road, and Erringden Hillside.
Measures to enhance property flood resilience are currently underway at Burnley Road Academy and are projected to conclude in November 2023. This will provide greater protection for the school against potential future flood events.
Efforts to ensure that local communities are cognizant of the ongoing risk have also persisted, with a Flood Warning Siren test day held in September 2023 to promote flood resilience.
Residents are reminded that flooding can occur at any time, but there are straightforward measures that can be taken to be better prepared. It is crucial to register for free flood warnings. The registration process is swift and uncomplicated; one can simply call Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or visit Check your flood risk – Eye on Calderdale.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Action, Active Travel and Housing, Cllr Scott Patient, said; “Many communities in Calderdale live with the constant threat of flooding, especially as climate change is increasing the likelihood of extreme weather events.
“Protecting our communities from this flood risk is a partnership effort and we work closely with a range of partners including the Environment Agency, Yorkshire Water, the Canal and River Trust, local flood groups, the voluntary sector and community groups.
“As a partnership, we’re marking the seventh anniversary of the Calderdale Flood Action Plan and reflecting on the huge amount of progress that has already been made, and how we’re continuing to increase our resilience to flood events.
“We’re also reminding people that the risk can never be fully removed, and people should check their flood protection plans. We hope these plans won’t need to be used, but it’s always good to be prepared, as we know from experience how quickly the situation can develop at times of flooding.”