Storm Ciara: Reflecting on the terrible flood and defence progress made over two years

Two years on from Storm Ciara, Calderdale Council has reflected on the progress made and thanked communities for their ongoing support.

By Ian Hirst
Wednesday, 9th February 2022, 3:08 pm

Today Wednesday February 9 marks the second anniversary of Storm Ciara, which caused 10 miles of damage across Calderdale in 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic.

With its steep-sided valleys and riverside communities, Calderdale is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change - shown by the increasing number and severity of recent floods in the borough. Storm Ciara was Calderdale’s fourth major flood in just eight years.

Councillor Scott Patient, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Resilience, said: “Storm Ciara in February 2020 was Calderdale’s latest major flood, but we have faced dozens of weather warnings and flood alerts since then. We know how worrying these are for local residents and businesses, and they are a stark reminder that we’re living in a climate crisis.

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Flooding after Storm Ciara in Mytholmroyd (Getty Images)

“We also know that one of Calderdale’s main strengths is its community spirit, which gets us through the tough times and has helped to make great progress in the joint work to reduce flood risk and tackle the climate emergency. Thank you to everyone for continuing to pull together.

“Last November, the international COP26 conference in Glasgow gave us a strong platform to raise our concerns, highlight the severe impact of climate change in Calderdale, and to call for the continued national support that we need. We saw people of all ages get involved, and that gives me faith that we can make a lasting difference.”

The Council has highlighted some of the progress and achievements over the last two years. These includes

Achieving the target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions within the Council and Calderdale by 40% by 2020.

Damage after Storm Ciara

Declaring a bold and ambitious target of net zero emissions by 2038, with significant progress by 2030 (above and beyond the UK target of 2050).

Investing in a range of net zero projects to tackle the climate emergency in the borough.

Launching the £1million Climate Fund to support local voluntary sector climate change projects, delivered in partnership with the Community Foundation for Calderdale. The first grants were awarded in October 2021 and the next round is due to open for applications in March 2022.

Investing in a range of projects to boost flood resilience, including an additional £1million to support Natural Flood Management in Calderdale after this extra funding was announced in December 2021.

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