Yorkshire streets flooded by storms added to 'imminent danger' hotspots

Streets in West Yorkshire which flooded during February’s triple storms have been added to “imminent danger” hotspots by council chiefs in Kirklees.

They have identified areas where they may need to deliver sandbags in future following criticism that people were left unprotected.

The authority has also pledged to check gulleys more regularly in a bid to stop them overflowing in advance of extreme weather events.

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Officers who reported on a review of the council’s local flood risk management said the impact of Storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin was “quite substantial” but that staff had responded well.

Flooding in Huddersfield

There were 133 reported incidents of flooding that included homes, businesses, gardens, driveways and cellars.

Areas such as Steneard Lane in Mirfield are notorious for flooding. However other locations were affected for the first time in years.

Among them was the Star Inn at Folly Hall in Huddersfield, which was under water after the River Holme overflowed into nearby Albert Street and Queens Mill Road.

Local councillors who witnessed the scene said the river had “burst its banks in a way that it never had before.”

Coun Andrew Cooper said: “We know things are getting worse” and said adaptation was key to preventing flooding in future.

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He also highlighted that some people were told to request sandbags “if your house is nearly about to be flooded.”

He added: “That’s cutting it fine” and urged the council to consider using alternative sandbags known as FloodSax, which expand when water is added to them.

He suggested that a community-based approach would prevent residents having to wait for council staff to turn up with sandbags.

Councillors also suggested checking areas following building work as developments can change watercourses and lead to consequential flooding.

Speaking at a meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee (Mar 15) officers said the council was investigating “nature-based solutions” to tackling flooding such as using leaky dams on Wessenden Moor and in the Peak District National Park to slow the flow of water entering the river system.

The council is also carrying out natural flood management mapping and is bidding for funding to pay for it.

Following Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis in 2020 the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) allocated £1m towards property flood resilience in the borough, which will help protect 73 homes.

A £1.3m culvert programme is also on track to be delivered by the end of the month, which will protect 800 homes.

And the council has bought a virtual alert system called MAP Rain to give early warnings for parts of the district that may be affected by severe weather.