Sowerby Bridge’s new community-funded flood warning siren will be tested for the first time next week.
The siren will be operated solely by church wardens based on information from the Environment Agency, which monitors river levels around the clock.
It has been funded by the Community Foundation for Calderdale and led by Sowerby Bridge Flood Group and Christ Church, which is where the siren is positioned. The test at 5pm next Thursday 11 May, will last for two minutes.
Residents and businesses in the town do not need to take any action when hearing the siren at this time.
Sowerby Bridge flood warden, Mike Payne, said:
“We hope that as well as testing our new siren we’re also able to raise awareness of flood risk in this area.
“It’s important that we have ways to warn residents that flooding is expected, but it’s just as important that people are aware of what they should do when they get a warning.”
Staff from the Environment Agency and Calderdale Council are supporting the test and will be on hand to help measure the siren’s audibility and give locals information on preparing for flooding.
The siren will be used as an additional measure to warn the local community if flooding is expected, alongside the Environment Agency’s free flood warning service that residents at risk, or affected by flooding, should sign up to receive.
Mr Payne added:
“If you don’t know what you’d do if you heard the siren in a real flood situation, why not put together a flood plan to make sure that you and your family are prepared?
“Flood water is dangerous, so remember not to put yourself in danger by driving or walking through fast moving flood water.
“Don’t forget, you don’t need to take action during Thursday’s test, but if you hear the sirens at any other time, then this means that flooding is expected.”
The Leader of Calderdale Council, Cllr Tim Swift, said:
“It’s vital that we test the new flood siren to make sure it’s audible and ensure residents know what it sounds like so they can recognise it in an emergency situation.
“It’s so important to be prepared for flooding and staff from the Council and the Environment Agency will be out and about in Sowerby Bridge, supporting the Flood Group, on the day to answer any questions people may have and give advice. There’s also lots of information available on the Eye on Calderdale website.”
For the latest information on current flood warnings and the local weather forecast, Calderdale residents can visit the ‘Eye on Calderdale’ website – www.eyeoncalderdale.com(external link)
To find out more about the dangers of flood water, to find out if your property is at risk of flooding and how to put together a flood plan for your home or business, call the Environment Agency Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or visit www.gov.uk/flood(external link)