Calderdale residents and businesses are being reminded about the need to protect themselves and their property from flooding.
A sudden and prolonged downpour led to widespread surface water flooding, causing several roads to close, flooding a small number of properties and bringing trains to a standstill on July 28.
With more bad weather and downpours for today and the weekend Calderdale Council has issued safety advice.
Councillor Scott Patient, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, said: “On Sunday 28 July we saw how quickly flash flooding can cause widespread disruption, but the situation could have been a lot worse if the downpour had been prolonged, as we have sadly seen in North Yorkshire.
“Although the Council, the Environment Agency and dozens of other organisations and communities are doing a huge amount of work to mitigate the risks, there’s only so much they can do to protect us from weather events of this scale – which we can expect to see more of as climate change continues to take effect.
“It’s absolutely critical that everyone in the community puts measures in place to protect themselves and their belongings from this growing risk.”
Calderdale Council and other organisations have been working closely with the local community to assess the impacts, deal with any remaining issues and urge people to take their own measures to prepare for any future flooding.
Adrian Gill, Yorkshire flood risk manager with the Environment Agency, added: “Recently we have seen very heavy localised rainfall across parts of Yorkshire.
“We closely monitor weather forecasts and have field teams who inspect defences and clear trash screens when heavy rain is forecast. Our teams are working with partners supporting affected communities, gathering information and taking action to reduce the potential impacts of flooding.
“When it rains heavily, we advise people to stay away from swollen rivers and urge people not to drive or walk through flood water. Just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car and even standing flood water can hide hidden dangers such as loose manhole covers. When flood warnings are issued it is important that people stay safe and follow the advice of emergency services.”
Here are some of the steps you can take to prepare for flooding:
· Check your flood risk and sign up for free flood warnings at www.gov.uk/check-flood-risk to provide a prompt for action in the event of possible flooding from the river.
· Flash flooding is more difficult to predict, but you can sign up to the Met Office’s weather warning service and check with your local flood group to get a better understanding of your local risk.
· Keep an up-to-date flood plan and practise it regularly. This can help reduce the damage caused by flooding in the short-term. The plan should include a trigger for action, steps to take and a list of essential items to have to hand when it floods.
· Keep up to date with the latest situation by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188
· Be aware that the Council does not provide sandbags to individuals during a flood. They are rarely the best solution for keeping floodwater out of properties. There are other products that are more effective, easier to use, reusable, and will not rot in storage.
· A combination of flood resistance measures (including barriers, drain sealers and anti-flood air bricks) and resilience measures (such as sump pumps, raised electrics and water-resistant building materials) are the best way to protect your property and minimise recovery costs. Specialist surveyors and the National Flood Forum can advise on options.
· Flood Re may be able to help homeowners in flood risk areas to find affordable insurance. Those who do not fit into this category are advised to contact an insurance broker for help.
When flooding strikes, stay away from floodwater as it may be contaminated. Avoid driving through floodwater and slow down when driving through puddles to avoid flooding nearby properties.