Preparing for Storm Dennis
Friday, 14 February 2020
Calderdale Council is preparing for Storm Dennis, which is expected to hit the UK this Saturday and into Sunday.
The Council is continuing the clean up from Storm Ciara, after the period of intense rain and strong wind last weekend caused surface flooding in Calderdale.
Community hubs have been open all week and will remain open over the weekend and into next week as necessary.
Storm Dennis is expected to hit Calderdale this weekend, with an Amber weather warning in place for the borough. With the ground already saturated, rivers are due to respond quickly
The Council, the Environment Agency, emergency services and other organisations are working hard to prepare before the storm hits, with measures, plans and extra resources in place.
For the Council this includes clearing gullies and trash screens in flood prone areas. Teams are working 24 hours a day, with this resource continuing throughout the weekend. Three gully sweeping units are patrolling during the day, with two units overnight, along with two vacuum units to remove excess water.
Efforts are currently being concentrated in flood prone areas and are being prioritised according to need. Residents are asked to report any known gully issues at www.calderdale.gov.uk to ensure efforts are targeted and units are deployed in the most effective and efficient way possible.
During periods of intense heavy rain and flood events, gullies can become overwhelmed, as they’re not designed for flood water drainage. However, keeping them clear ensures that water can drain away quickly after the event, aiding recovery.
Incident rooms are also open in the borough and Council officers will be working around the clock to help keep people safe and to manage the current flood risk.
The Leader of Calderdale Council, Cllr Tim Swift, said, “With the borough still in a period of recovery from Storm Ciara, the latest forecast warning of the impacts of upcoming Storm Dennis is not a welcome one.
“Council staff, partners, volunteers and community groups have worked tirelessly all week to assist with recovery, and I’d like to once again thank everyone for their tremendous efforts.
“We’re ensuring that we continue to have provisions in place throughout the weekend to deal with any issues as a result of the forecast storm. This includes extra resources to clear gullies to ensure they’re free of debris which has been left as a result of last week’s devastating flooding.
“Staff are on call 24/7 and in regular contact with the Met Office for weather forecasts so we can take appropriate action. We are also closely monitoring conditions and river levels and will be out for as long as needed.”
It is not possible to totally remove the risk of flooding which is why it is important that every home and business does everything possible to reduce its own risk. Here are some of the steps you can take to prepare for flooding:
- Remain vigilant to the risks of flooding over the coming days, report any blockages or fallen trees or vehicles in rivers that could cause an increase in flood risk. The Environment Agency incident hotline number is 0800 80 70 60.
- Prepare in advance. Check your flood risk, know what to do if flooding is expected, and be ready to respond.
- Have a bag ready with vital items like insurance documents and medications in case you need to leave your home.
- Act. Be ready to act if flooding is possible. Stay tuned to local media and listen to advice and directions given by the emergency services. Move vital, valuable, irreplaceable items upstairs or to safety. Turn off gas, water and electricity.
- Stay away from swollen rivers and do not walk through flood water as it may be contaminated.
- Avoid driving through floodwater if at all possible as it can contain many hidden hazards, and always slow down when driving through puddles to avoid flooding nearby properties.
- Call 999 if you are in immediate danger. Listen to the emergency services and evacuate if asked to do so.