Stop drivers causing ‘tidal wave’

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People in flood-hit areas of the upper Calder Valley have criticised inconsiderate drivers for creating “tidal waves” and increasing water damage.

Residents and businesses on Halifax Road, Todmorden, took drastic action during Monday’s flash flood by forming a human chain across the road to stop vehicles driving through the floodwater.

Sue Landale, landlady at the Jack’s House pub, on Burnley Road, is calling for measures to be put in place to shut roads sooner when flooding strikes.

“There should be something put in place so that the roads are closed, otherwise we get a tidal wave,” she said.

The aftermath of Monday’s flooding has also seen residents calling for drains to be modernised.

Rodney Young, of Derdale Street, Todmorden, who had his cellar flooded, said: “The Victorian drains are inadequate for what we have now.”

Michelle Hobbs, landlady at The Railway pub in Hebden Bridge, urged Calderdale Council to clear the drains on a more regular basis.

Coun Tim Swift, leader of Calderdale Council, said despite a multi-million pound investment in river defences, it is very difficult to prevent flash flooding along hillside streams and culverts.

“Nevertheless the council and our partners, including the Environment Agency, remain committed to working with local communities to make homes and businesses as safe as possible from flooding,” he said.

Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker slammed thoughtless motorists who he said had no consideration for home or business owners by driving through at speed.

Mr Whittaker, who was in Walsden on Monday evening, praised everyone’s efforts in the clean-up operation.

He said it was ironic that two of the worst hit areas were where flood alleviation work was being undertaken at Shade and at Walsden, where £60,000 had been spent on culvert work since 2006.