On the anniversary of the launch of the Calderdale Flood Action Plan, Calderdale residents and businesses are reminded to check their flood preparation plans and be aware of the continued risk of flooding during autumn and winter months.
Calderdale Council is advising residents to make sure they are prepared for possible flooding and encouraging people to visit the Eye on Calderdale website to find out how best to prepare for different types of flooding, what to do to protect themselves and their property, as well as who to contact for assistance.
Businesses are advised to review their Business Flood Plans ahead of the winter months to ensure they know what to do if a flooding incident occurs. Taking action to prepare ahead for flooding can save companies between 20% and 90% on the cost of lost stock and movable equipment, and dramatically reduce the trouble, workload and stress that goes with such an event.
There are many different reasons why an area might flood but communities in Calderdale are particularly at risk, with the borough’s unique landscape making it especially vulnerable to floods from many sources including river flooding, groundwater, surface water, interactions with sewers, canal flooding and run off from the steep hillsides.
Marking seven years of the Flood Action Plan
The Council works with its partners to increase the borough’s resilience to flooding. This October marks seven years since the launch of the Calderdale Flood Action Plan, which was created following the floods of Boxing Day 2015. It sets out the actions to support recovery from past floods, reduce the impact of flooding and build resilience for future events.
Incredible progress has been made since the creation of the plan, with £133million secured so far, to fund work across the key themes of strengthening defences, natural flood management, resilient infrastructure, and community resilience.
Since 2016, work has been taking place on flood schemes across the borough. Completed schemes at Bacup Road, Todmorden; Pin Hill Lane, Midgley; Burnt Arces Wood, Eastwood; and Woodland View, Todmorden are protecting over 140 properties.
By 2026, seven flood alleviations schemes are due to have been completed in Mytholmroyd, Shaw Wood Road, Brighouse, Copley, Stubbing Holme Road, Erringden and Hebble Brook. This will better protect over 1,200 properties.
Over 90 sites in the borough have also been used for natural flood management (NFM) since 2016, with £1million allocated to local landowners to support NFM measures on private land in Calderdale.
In the last year, the Environment Agency has opened a new flood information centre in Hebden Bridge, to help keep the community updated with progress to reduce the risk of flooding in the town, with information about the flood alleviation schemes for Hebden Bridge town centre, Stubbing Holme Road and Erringden Hillside.
Property flood resilience measures are also currently being installed at Burnley Road Academy and are due to be finished in November 2023. This will better protect the school from any future flood events.
Work has also continued to ensure that local communities are aware of the ongoing risk, with a Flood Warning Siren test day held in September 2023 to promote flood resilience.
Keeping yourself safe
Residents are reminded that flooding can happen at any time, but there are simple things that can be done to be better prepared. It’s important to sign up to receive free flood warnings. Registering is quick and easy, simply call Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or take a look at this webpage.
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.”
View the full Calderdale Flood Action Plan. If you would like to make a suggestion or have an idea which you or your community think would support flood resilience in Calderdale please email: CalderdaleFAS@environment-agency.gov.uk. It will then be discussed by the Calderdale Flood Programme Board.
Becoming more resilient to climate change
The Calderdale Flood Action Plan complements the borough’s draft Climate Action Plan, which sets out how the borough will achieve ambitious net zero targets and protect our distinctive environment from the impacts of the climate crisis.
To find out more about the Calderdale Climate Action Plan, visit the Council website. For regular climate action updates, sign up for the Zero Carbon Calderdale e-newsletter.