Armed Forces to support Calderdale flood response and Storm Dennis preparations


UK Armed Forces personnel will be deployed to Calderdale today (Saturday 15 February) to support the ongoing recovery from last weekend’s flooding and the preparations for Storm Dennis.

All available teams from Calderdale Council and partner organisations, as well as volunteers across the borough, continue to work 24/7 to support the major flood recovery efforts and to be as prepared as possible for Storm Dennis, which is forecast to bring heavy rain and strong winds later today. Six community flood hubs and a control room have been open all week and will remain open throughout the weekend and further ahead as needed.

However, the far-reaching extent of the damage caused by Storm Ciara on Sunday 9 February, and the potential significant impacts from Storm Dennis, mean that resources are stretched.

The Army troops will support organisations, residents and businesses on the ground. If necessary, soldiers will also provide help with warning and informing residents, and support with potential recovery efforts from high risk or flooded areas.

The Leader of Calderdale Council, Cllr Tim Swift, said:

“The presence of Army officers in Calderdale will be a reassuring sight for the many residents and businesses who are still recovering from Storm Ciara and preparing for Storm Dennis.

“Council staff, partners, volunteers and community groups have worked tirelessly all week and will continue to work around the clock for as long as necessary to help keep people safe and to manage the flood risk.

“This extra and expert resource couldn’t be more welcome to support already exhausted communities and help us respond to further weather warnings across Calderdale.”

There is still uncertainty about the scale of impact that Storm Dennis could bring, but as there is a significant risk of further damage, residents and businesses are urged to be prepared.

It is not possible to totally remove the risk of flooding, but there are steps you can take to help prepare:

  • Remain vigilant to the risks of flooding over the coming days, report any blockages or fallen trees or vehicles in rivers that could cause an increase in flood risk. The Environment Agency incident hotline number is 0800 80 70 60.
  • Prepare in advance. Check your flood risk, know what to do if flooding is expected, and be ready to respond.
  • Have a bag ready with vital items like insurance documents and medications in case you need to leave your home.
  • Act. Be ready to act if flooding is possible. Stay tuned to local media and listen to advice and directions given by the emergency services. Move vital, valuable, irreplaceable items upstairs or to safety. Turn off gas, water and electricity.
  • Stay away from swollen rivers and do not walk through flood water as it may be contaminated.
  • Avoid driving through floodwater if at all possible as it can contain many hidden hazards, and always slow down when driving through puddles to avoid flooding nearby properties.
  • Call 999 if you are in immediate danger. Listen to the emergency services and evacuate if asked to do so.

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