YP Letters: Flood prevention begins at home when authorities fail

From: Barry Crossland, Elland Lane, Elland.

Flooding in Hebden Bridge - are authorities in the Calder Valley doing enough to protect homes and businesses?

I HAVE read the Calderdale flood action plan and understand that Calderdale MBC is following the Environment Agency’s plan. I think that the strategy is flawed and that there has been very little action on flood prevention.

Millions of pounds were spent on containing Walsden Water, and look what happened. The plan contains no data on which decisions are being made, and makes it very difficult for people to make a contribution.

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I think that a strategy for the whole of Calderdale is required. In order to plan, one needs to know how much water needs to be contained in a certain area.

Rainfall figures across Calderdale are not readily available but estimates can be made.

The area of each valley can be calculated. Combined with rainfall, it is easy to calculate the volume of water falling in a particular valley. I would have expected the Environment Agency to have done the calculations by now. Determining the maximum flow rates of streams and rivers is more difficult. However, once calculated, it should be possible to calculate how much water needs to be contained.

Yorkshire Water is in a position to make the biggest contribution towards containing excessive rainfall but as far as I am aware they have made no commitment.

When I go walking in the Pennines and see all the reservoirs, which were constructed with public money, I am annoyed that they are not being used to prevent flooding of people’s home and businesses.

If Yorkshire Water choose to put profits before people, then the Government should reverse the stupid decision of privatisation.

I do despair that both the Government and Calderdale MBC chose to make matters worse with increased building and no associated flood prevention measures.

However, rather than moaning, I think what positive action I can take. I already divert the rainfall on my garage into my pond, diverting 100 gallons of water for every inch of rainfall.

I have now emptied my three water tubs which means that I can block 120 gallons of rain water whenever the need arises during the winter.

I realise that this is a small contribution but if everyone contributed we could block millions of gallons of flood water.

From what I read, I am making a bigger contribution to flood prevention than Calderdale MBC, the Enviroment Agency and Yorkshire Water.

I hope that I am wrong.