Volunteers needed for flood groups to keep water at bay

Flood warden Keith Crabtree
Flood warden Keith Crabtree

Flood wardens in the upper Calder Valley are calling for more people to help put a plan together when floods hit the area.

The Environment Agency and Calderdale Council are working with the newly established Todmorden flood group, to warn residents about the dangers of flash flooding and let communities plan how they will respond during a flood to protect people and homes.

Keith Crabtree, Todmorden flood warden, said: “We know we don’t have much time to react when it starts flooding here, so we want to put together a local community flood plan to make our response as quick and effective as possible.”

Flash flooding can occur suddenly so there may not be enough time to warn people or for emergency services to get there. The Environment Agency say this is why householders and communities must develop flood action plans in advance.

Keith added: “We can’t stop it flooding but we can do what we can to be as ready as possible. I know all the flood groups would welcome more volunteers to get involved in the plan, even if they don’t come to our regular meetings.”

The introduction of Flood Wardens has had a positive impact so far by keeping authorities up to date and through social media before, during and after flooding.

A Facebook group set up last year by Rob Holden had 2,000 members offering food, shelter and help with the clean up.

Robin Derry, of the Environment Agency said: “Communities in the Upper Aire Valley, Calderdale and the Holme and Colne Valleys above Huddersfield are vulnerable to flash flooding. We want to increase awareness of the dangers in these areas, so we are urging everyone to check our website to see if their home or business is at risk, and if they are, to adopt a flood plan.”

For more help and advice go to www.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood.