The Environment Agency is warning communities in Yorkshire to prepare for significant river flooding this weekend as heavy rain is expected to fall on already saturated ground.
North and West Yorkshire, Cumbria, Lancashire and Greater Manchester, are the areas currently most at risk of significant river and localised surface water flooding on the evning of Saturday, November 14 and into Sunday, November 15.
The flood risk comes as heavy and persistent rainfall – a month’s rain could fall on localised high ground – affects parts of northern England. Many northern parts of the country are already saturated after days of wet and windy weather and the outlook is set to remain unsettled into next week.
Environment Agency teams are already working hard to prepare by checking and maintaining flood defences, clearing blockages in watercourses, monitoring water levels and issuing flood warnings where necessary.
This week saw a test of the flood warning siren at Walsden, Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd, in Calderdale, as part of its annual maintenance tests.
If any of these sirens are sounded during the weekend, then it is not a test, and people should take action because flooding is expected. This also applies to the siren at Wyke Beck in Leeds: if this is sounded, it is not a test and people should take action.
If travelling the public should not attempt to drive through flood water – 30cm of flowing water is enough to move your car.
Craig Woolhouse, Environment Agency Director of Incident Management, said: “River levels across northern England are already high and are expected to rise with this further heavy rainfall, bringing with them a significant risk of flooding. We are working closely with the emergency services and partners to prepare ahead of the weekend. Our teams are already in action clearing watercourses, maintaining existing defences and standing ready to deploy temporary pumps and defences where these can be effective.
“We urge people to be prepared by checking their flood risk and keeping up to date with the latest situation at www.gov.uk/check-if-youre-at-risk-of-flooding or follow @EnvAgency and #floodaware on Twitter for the latest flood updates.”
Flood warnings are now being sent to more people directly thanks to a ground-breaking scheme involving EE mobile phone users. This project was also completed this week with more than 400,000 people registered around the country.
EE customers registered in specific flood risk areas across Yorkshire will receive a welcome telephone message from the Environment Agency’s Floodline Warnings Direct service over the coming weeks.
Residents and businesses are advised to check their flood risk and keep up to date with the latest situation at www.gov.uk/check-if-youre-at-risk-of-flooding, or call Floodline on 0345 988 1188.