Flood plans and warning sirens put to the test

Environment agency

The flood warning sirens in Walsden, Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd will be sounded next week (12 November) as part of the Environment Agency’s annual maintenance tests. The test is part of the Environment Agency’s Flood Action Campaign, taking place throughout November, and the local Todmorden and Hebden Royd flood groups in the Upper Calder Valley are taking this opportunity to raise awareness and encourage others to get involved. 

The Environment Agency uses the sirens to warn the Upper Calder Valley communities when rivers are expected to flood. There are eight sirens in the area with an audibility level similar to that used by emergency vehicles.  

This year all the sirens will be tested together on Thursday 12 November at 2:45pm. 

Each test will last for two minutes. Residents and businesses in the towns do not need to take any action when hearing the sirens at these times. Loud hailer vehicles will be used to alert people to the tests, ahead of the sirens being sounded. 

Following these tests, there will be a public drop-in session at the Hebden Bridge Town Hall from 4pm to 6pm where the Environment Agency, flood groups and Calderdale Council will be present, to provide advice on how to register for flood warnings and what to do in a flood. 

Jon Follows, Environment Agency Flood Resilience Officer said:

“It is important that we test the sirens to check that they are working properly and can be triggered remotely from our incident room in Leeds. 

“Although no action needs to be taken during the test, people need to be aware that if they hear the sirens at any other time, then this means that flooding is expected.  

“Flood water is dangerous, particularly in these areas where water cascading down from the steep surrounding hills means flooding can happen very quickly and with little warning. We would ask people not to put themselves at danger by driving or walking through fast moving flood water. We are also encouraging local residents and businesses to put together a flood plan to keep themselves and their families safe.” 

Cllr Tim Swift, Leader of Calderdale Council said:  

“The Council is committed to working with other organisations like the Environment Agency on flood prevention works. The siren test is a good reminder for people to make sure they are prepared if a flood hits. There are steps you can take to protect your property, and it’s helpful to have a flood plan in place and get involved with your local flood group. Keep updated at link) and I encourage you to come along to the drop-in session to find out more.”   

For the latest information on current flood warnings and the local weather forecast, Calderdale residents can visit the ‘Eye on Calderdale’ website – 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  Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or visit link) 

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