Checks on residents and recovery continues in Calderdale after Storm Arwen

Calderdale Council has continued to support vulnerable residents caught up in power cuts and freezing conditions which arrived during – and in the wake of – Storm Arwen.

By John Greenwood - Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 3:41 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 3:42 pm
Tree removal after the storm at Shibden Park
Tree removal after the storm at Shibden Park

This included staff knocking on hundreds of doors to check on people’s wellbeing and working with partner organisations, says the Leader of Calderdale Council, Coun Tim Swift.

Coun Swift (Lab, Town) said this also included pushing for power issues to be resolved for the final residents still waiting for supplies to be restored after the storm whose impact included iced-up roads and falling trees.

“After an intense weekend of working day and night due to the snow, ice, strong winds and sub-zero temperatures brought by Storm Arwen, council teams, partner organisations and local communities are still working tirelessly to support people who are without power and those who are vulnerable.

Sign up to our daily Halifax Courier Today newsletter

“Our Community Safety Wardens, social care staff, partners, the Police and Fire and Rescue Service are continuing to visit all the affected areas at all times of day, are knocking on hundreds of doors and offering extra support to those most at risk until their power is back on.

“We are pushing for the power issues to be resolved and for further support to those still affected,” he said.

Coun Swift said the clean-up from the storm is ongoing, with council teams still dealing with considerable damage to trees, clearing fallen branches, inspecting all open spaces and checking damaged trees.

“This follows the relentless team effort throughout the weekend, which saw gritters working around the clock to keep Calderdale safe and moving, teams moving fallen trees and debris, wardens supporting people living street-based lives and health and social care teams battling the weather to get to vulnerable residents,” he said.

Coun Swift said Calderdale’s road network remained below freezing for 62 hours between Friday night and Monday morning.

“It’s rare for our winter road condition weather station to report this temperature for such a long period.

“Our forestry team said Storm Arwen was the most severe they’d experienced for over 20 years – in just one piece of woodland, they found around 30 fallen trees,” he said.

Coun Swift said thanked were owed to all who once again came together and showed great kindness and resilience in very challenging conditions – Calderdale has done this, for example, in times of flooding .

“Local communities rallied around and went the extra mile to help each other and check on friends, family and neighbours.

“We heard amazing stories of community organisations and cafes opening up to provide hot drinks and food to those who needed it, such as Hebden Bridge Town Hall and St Michael’s Church in Mytholmroyd, where council officers also attended and transported a vulnerable person to respite care,” he said.