Responding to surface flooding issues

Flooding waves

Calderdale Council is continuing the clean up after the period of intense rain and strong wind caused surface flooding in Calderdale on Saturday 21 October.

The Environment Agency issued 14 flood warnings on Saturday evening for the River Calder across both the Upper and Lower Calder valleys. A number of localised surface flooding problems occurred, with road closures on the A646 Burnley Road at Cornholme. The flood sirens were used but thankfully no river flooding was reported.

Although heavy rain was forecast, it did not indicate the full extent of the storm that took place. However, the Council, the Environment Agency, emergency services and other organisations were working hard to prepare for any bad weather, with measures, plans and extra resources in place.

Teams were well prepared for a flood incident after taking part in a major live training exercise on Friday 20 October.

#OperationalCdale17 tested the response of the Council and partners to a flooding incident and rehearsed the action that would be taken during and after a flood.

All went well with the exercise, with teams responding well, both at the live incident and with logistics and communications processes. These processes were put into practice on Saturday evening.

Since the beginning of October, the Council’s Safer, Cleaner, Greener teams have been out mechanically clearing leaves and using gully wagons and sweepers across Calderdale, with concentrated efforts in the Upper Valley and other flood-prone areas.

However, the intensity of Saturday’s weather led to further impact on gullies as  leaves were falling from trees in the strong winds. The Council had gully wagons out dealing with blocked gullies and clearing silt and debris from the highways.

It is important that people report any blocked gullies to the Council so that it knows where to focus its efforts. This can be done online at – search for ‘blocked gullies’.

With more heavy rain forecast, teams will remain on standby and monitor the forecast and any developing issues. Extra resources are out clearing gullies and leaves over the coming days to continue the clean up and address the impact of the storm.

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

“Although heavy rain was forecast for Saturday, the intensity and duration of the rainfall was unexpected. However, as soon as flood alerts were issued, Council teams swung into action clearing gullies and debris to keep the highways as clear as possible. As the situation developed, messages were also put out to advise people of road closures and to emphasise the need to drive carefully in areas that were suffering from surface water flooding.

“Thankfully, the rivers did not breach their banks, but we will continue to monitor levels throughout the coming days, particularly with further wet weather forecast for this week. For updates and advice before, during and after flooding, follow @Calderdale on Twitter and visit link).”

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