Experts assessing damage to flood defences after torrential rainfall causes disruption

High river levels in Sowerby Bridge, Calderdale.
High river levels in Sowerby Bridge, Calderdale.

Teams of experts are out in force today to assess the damage to flood defences after torrential rainfall caused disruption across the borough.

Flooding in Calderdale after heavy rain during the weekend led to widespread disruption as roads and rail lines were closed on Saturday and Sunday.

The disruption has continued today (Monday) as some roads remain closed and trains have been cancelled.

But the Environment Agency said the flood defences in Todmorden were activated to contain the excess water.

A spokesperson said: “We activated the storage reservoir at Centre Vale Park, Todmorden, in response to forecasts which gave rise to concerns that the volume of water expected to come down the River Calder could cause problems further downstream where it meets Walsden Water in the town centre.

“Diverting water into Centre Vale Park reduced the impact of high river levels further downstream which could have caused flooding.

“Today our teams are out on the ground, assessing channels that were full of water over the weekend.

“We are looking for potential blockages and damage to defences.”

Around 150 Environment Agency staff - including some called in from other parts of Yorkshire - worked with volunteer flood wardens over the weekend across the borough.

The spokesperson said flood warnings had been issued to 1,500 properties and there were reports that 20 had been flooded in the region.

They added: “River levels in the Calder, Aire and Wharfe all responded significantly yesterday.

“They are now falling, although the Aire is expected to remain high throughout today.

“There is more rain forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday, and this could bring further flood risk, so we are continuing to monitor the situation closely.”