Council urging residents to be prepared for flash floods during summer months

Calderdale Council is urging residents to check their flood preparation plans and be aware of the continued risk of flooding during summer months.

The council says sudden and heavy downpours, which are more likely during the summer months, can put extra stress on all drainage systems, in turn increasing the risk of flash flooding.

It is important to prepare and there are a number of ways to protect properties from these kinds of events, such as signing up for the Met Office weather warning service.

Familiarising yourself with your local area, checking it there are streams, culverts, roads and drains which are vulnerable to downpours, is also useful, says the council.

Flooding in Mytholmroyd

Those living in areas specifically at risk of flash flooding, should consider writing a personal flood plan and investing in property-level protection – these can include sustainable drainage systems, such as water butts, raised planters or permeable paving which could also be installed to slow the flow of rainwater into drains, gutters and rivers.

The council is also encouraging landowners to aerate their grassland to reduce the amount of water travelling across the surface of a field, and beyond, with spring and autumn the best times and information about this and other natural flood management techniques can be obtained by emailing [email protected]

Information is also available on necessary consents and opportunities for suitable available funding, said the council’s director of regeneration and strategy, Shelagh O’Neill.

Ms O’Neill said: “As summer approaches and we all look forward to hopefully enjoying some good weather, it’s also important to remember that sudden downpours and flash flooding are unfortunately more likely in the summer months.

“Intense periods of rain falling on dry ground can have a rapid impact, so if you live in an area at risk of flooding it’s important to keep an eye on forecasts and have plans in place to act quickly.

“Hopefully these flood preparation plans won’t be needed, but it’s always best to have them in place.”

She said natural flood management continues to be an important part of Calderdale’s joint work to tackle flooding and the climate emergency and there are steps we can all take to help.

“We’re encouraging landowners to find out more about the benefits of soil aeration, which increases the amount of water that the ground can absorb. Property owners can also help by considering permeable paving or even something as simple as installing a water butt to slow the flow of water into nearby drains,” she said.

Ms O’ Neill said with the increasing impact of climate change, it is impossible to completely stop the risk of flooding, particularly in the Calder Valley due to the geography of the area.