As Calderdale prepares to mark the fourth anniversary of Storm Eva, it’s a time to reflect on the huge progress which has been made to protect the Calder Valley from future flooding.
On Friday 20 December 2019 the Calderdale Flood Recovery and Resilience Board, which was set up in the aftermath of the 2012 floods, will review the progress made over the past four years and discuss the next phases of the programme, which will continue to build resilience across the Calder Valley.
The Leader of Calderdale Council and Chair of the Calderdale Flood Recovery and Resilience Board, Cllr Tim Swift said:
“As we reach the anniversary of the Boxing Day floods, I’d like to thank all of the people and partners who are working hard to keep our communities safe. We know a huge amount is done by unpaid volunteers, who are unsung heroes within all of our towns and villages, and we’re extremely grateful for their commitment.
“We also recognise and appreciate the patience of those who are living with the everyday disruption as the work on our flood alleviation schemes continues. These will ultimately provide a greater degree of protection in the future.
“It’s important to remember however, that because of our steep-sided valley and the impact of climate change, we will always be at risk of flooding, so I’d urge everyone to prepare carefully so that they and their property are protected.”
Yorkshire Water, working in partnership with Calderdale Council and the Environment Agency, will be carrying out a second trial which will reduce water levels by up to 10% at reservoirs on Hebden Water over the coming winter. This will provide extra storage for flood water, carefully balancing flood risk against the demand for public water supplies.
Yorkshire Water’s Chief Strategy and Regulation Officer, Nevil Muncaster said:
“Lowering reservoirs is not a silver bullet solution to preventing flooding and all agencies need to work together on a wide range of measure to reduce risk, but the data suggests that it could have a positive impact, so it is important that we continue to work to understand both the benefits and potential implications for water resources in the region.
“We’re committed to continuing to work in partnership with others to help reduce flood risk in Calderdale.”
Other highlights of the progress which has been made since the 2015 floods under the four themes of the Calderdale Flood Action Plan include:
Paul Swales, Environment Agency Flood Risk Advisor, said:
“Great progress has been made on the Mytholmroyd flood alleviation scheme which will better protect 400 homes and businesses. The project is really beginning to change the appearance of the village with the new, widened bridge due to be opened in spring 2020 and many of the new walls completed. The project continues to be delivered at pace following the government commitment made after the Boxing Day 2015 floods and is due for completion in late summer 2020. In addition, major schemes continue to be developed, designed and planned to better protect communities within the Calder Valley, including Hebden Bridge and Brighouse.”
Natural Flood Management (NFM)
The Flood Action Plan, together with regular progress updates by partners, can be found at www.eyeoncalderdale.com/flood-action-plan. More information on preparing for, responding to and recovering from flooding is available at www.eyeoncalderdale.com.
If everyone plays their part in preparing for and helping to reduce the impacts of severe weather, we’re helping to build Calderdale’s resilience – one of the key themes of the Vision2024 for Calderdale.
In the year 2024 Calderdale will celebrate its 50th birthday. Where do we want to be by 2024? Join the conversation by following #VisionCdale2024 on social media and visit www.calderdale.gov.uk/vision
The next meeting of the Calderdale Flood Recovery and Resilience Board will be held at 10am on Friday 20 December 2019 at Halifax Town Hall.