Be aware of the risk of flash flooding this summer


Residents in Calderdale are reminded to check their flood preparation plans and be aware of the risk of flash flooding during the summer months.

The recent flooding in Germany, Belgium and parts of London has acted as a reminder of the dangers posed by flooding and demonstrates the ongoing effects of climate change. It remains a key priority for Calderdale Council to ensure that more is done to urgently tackle flooding in the Calder Valley and the other impacts of climate change.

Flash flooding happens when an exceptional amount of rain falls in a very short time. This type of flood happens very quickly and is particularly dangerous and extremely destructive, so being prepared could not only protect homes and businesses, but also save lives.

During the summer months the combination of dry ground due to warm weather and unsettled wet weather, further increases the risk of flash floods. The geography of Calderdale makes the borough more susceptible to these kinds of weather events which can be very isolated, hitting one community whilst leaving neighbouring localities untouched.

Almost anyone can be affected by flash flooding. Surface water and water that runs off from the hillsides can be just as destructive as river flooding. Signs that a flash flood could be on its way, include:

  • heavy rain or severe weather reports
  • rising water levels with churning dark water
  • a build-up of debris in rivers or streams.

There are a number of ways to protect properties from these kinds of events, such as creating a flood plan and signing up for the Met Office weather warning service(external link), It’s also a good idea to familiarise yourself with your local area, checking it there are streams, culverts, roads and drains which are vulnerable to downpours. If residents are new to the area, it’s useful to talk to neighbours or contact local flood group(external link)s to find out if there’s been flash flooding in the area before.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Resilience, Cllr Scott Patient, said:

“Recent events in northern Europe and across the world have acted as a sombre reminder of the devastation that can be caused by extreme weather. Unfortunately, due to climate change, these events are likely to occur more frequently and it’s important not to underestimate the risk, wherever you live.

“Flooding is a particularly risk in Calderdale and flash flood events can occur anywhere. I’d encourage all Calderdale residents to be prepared – even if you don’t live near a river you might still be at risk of flooding from another source.

“It’s important to be aware of localised risks and to have plans in place, just in case. Hopefully plans won’t need to be put into action, but it’s always best to be prepared.”

For more information about flooding in Calderdale, as well as tips on protecting your property and advice on actions to take in a flood, visit link)


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