Warnings to Yorkshire councils over flooding dangers fell on deaf ears - Yorkshire Post letters

The latest flooding devastation in Mytholmroyd. Photo: Jade Kilbride
The latest flooding devastation in Mytholmroyd. Photo: Jade Kilbride

From: Andrew Tagg, Technical Manager, John Winter & Co Ltd, Washer Lane, Halifax.

After the terrible Boxing Day floods in 2015 the people of the Calder Valley were promised action. Central Government immediately stepped up to the plate, providing £70m for flood prevention along the Calder Valley.

A major clean-up operation is now underway in Mytholmroyd and the Calder Valley.

A major clean-up operation is now underway in Mytholmroyd and the Calder Valley.

Yet the residents of the Calder Valley have had to suffer the misery of severe flooding again basically because of procrastination and inaction.

Extraordinary video shows Calder Valley underwater as River Calder bursts its banks

I was a member of the Flood Commission and, from that, came an important conclusion that preparations to reduce the impact of severe weather played a major factor – one being the draining of reservoirs in advance – to mitigate some of the effects of rapid water runoff from the catchment area.

This was pressed by myself and others at the Calderdale Flood Recovery and Resilience Programme Board. At no point could we get a firm commitment to introduce such action. There was a week’s warning of this storm coming. Was any action taken?

Mytholmroyd was one of the towns badly hit by the 2015 floods -could the damage caused by Storm Ciara have been prevented?

Mytholmroyd was one of the towns badly hit by the 2015 floods -could the damage caused by Storm Ciara have been prevented?

I stressed concern at these meetings in 2017 that little progress was being made regarding the implementation of flood defences and expressed that the meeting was becoming a talking shop.

It took over two years just to get plans in place for the Mytholmroyd defences. I stressed that the communities along the Calder Valley would be very angry if we have another flood of similar magnitude before the defences are in place. Sadly we now know the answer.

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This obviously fell on deaf ears. It’s been over four years since the Boxing Day floods and still the defences in Mytholmroyd have not been completed (The Yorkshire Post, February 11).

I also took exception to the Environment Agency plans not to carry out any work on the defences at Copley before 2020. The same with Sowerby Bridge. This whole situation has been a result of incompetence.

Coun Tim Swift, the leader of Calderdale Council, has some serious questions to answer, as to why it has taken so long to complete flood defences and what, if any, preparations regarding reservoir levels were put in place last week.

Finally the Government has failed on one count by not disbanding the Environment Agency, a bureaucratic, dysfunctional organisation which seems answerable to no one. People want actions, not more words.

From: Dick Lindley, Altofts, Normanton.

I WONDER how many more homes and businesses need to be sacrificed to the flooded River Calder before we take sensible remedial action to prevent any further heartbreak?

The solution is simple. Instead of spending millions on useless flood defence barriers, the Environment Agency should dredge the river and deepen the river channel by 50 per cent, thereby enabling twice the volume of flood water to safely flow down our river and into the North Sea.

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In that way we could prevent the almost annual catastrophe suffered by countless home owners, business owners and farmers, when their precious properties are inundated with filthy flood water.

Surely we do not need an engineering or hydrology degree to recognise this simple solution to our nightmare? Just a modicum of common sense.