Calder Valley, two years on from floods: A lot achieved - and much flood work still to do

Flood alleviation work carried out in spring 2017 at  Burnt Acres, Eastwood
Flood alleviation work carried out in spring 2017 at Burnt Acres, Eastwood

Two years since the devastating Boxing Day 2015 floods much has been done to address issues - but there is a lot still to do.

Calderdale Council leader Tim Swift said community, council and partner organisations had worked hard to ensure the Calder Valley bounced back: “A great deal of hard work has gone into recovering and strengthening defences against future flooding, but there is still work to do. We will continue to work with local people and other organisations to do all we can to reduce the risks and impacts of future flooding.”

Carrying out one of the flood exercises in Hebden Bridge

Carrying out one of the flood exercises in Hebden Bridge

Helen Batt, Calder catchment director for the Environment Agency, said together they were delivering the Calderdale Flood Action Plan. “Next year major construction work continues on the £30m Mytholmroyd flood alleviation scheme, and we will begin construction on the £15m scheme for Hebden Bridge. Together, these schemes will better protect 900 homes and businesses as well as vital infrastructure and community assets.”

Key progress made since December 2015 includes: £56 million spent on flood recovery and defence, including infrastructure repairs, home and business grants and flood risk reduction schemes; projects completed at 200 locations by 1,500 volunteers; flood resilience grants approved for 1,354 homes and 590 businesses totalling £8.9 million; two major flood exercises; 33 major flood recovery projects and thousands of smaller jobs carried out by the council including repairing bridges, landslip sites, road surfacing, underwater inspections and bridge risk assessments; £22 million spent of £25 million awarded by the Department for Transport for repairs to damaged roads and bridges, including 41km of carriageway and 15 bridges; a £9 million recovery programme being carried out by the Environment Agency; 32 Flood Action Plan actions completed; and £3.16 million raised for flood relief by the Community Foundation for Calderdale.