More unsettled weather expected for Yorkshire

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More rain is expected across Yorkshire in the next few days, and the showers could be heavy in places, increasing the risk of surface water flooding.

Staff at the Environment Agency are warning people to expect heavy showers particularly in the West and South Pennines, which may trigger flood alerts on the rivers in the area.

We are expecting more rain this afternoon in South and West Yorkshire. The rain is likely to move into the North East and North Yorkshire on Wednesday, which could result in flood alerts and some flood warnings. Many river catchments are saturated and are extremely sensitive so the Environment Agency is warning people to be vigilant.

Yesterday, in the Hebden Bridge area very heavy isolated downpours caused extensive surface water flooding to roads and properties.

Ian Foster, the Environment Agency’s flood duty manager for Yorkshire said: “Yorkshire has experienced some severe weather over the last week, and with further rain forecast for the next few hours, we would urge the public to remain vigilant, check local weather forecasts, and the Environment Agency website for information.

“We monitor river levels round-the-clock and have gauges on many of the region’s main watercourses which continuously feeds information to our forecasting rooms. Although yesterday’s rain in Calderdale did not result in rivers over topping, it is a reminder of how quickly rain can cause so much damage, which is why we want people to be alert.”

Information from the Environment Agency’s gauges is used to trigger flood alerts, warnings and flood sirens similar to the ones used to warn of river flooding in Hebden Bridge and Todmorden.

Staff worked closely with Calderdale Council yesterday, offering on-the-ground support such as pumps, to help its response to the flooding, and gave specialist advice on any further risks.

The Environment Agency and Calderdale Council are now proposing a joint working group that will include British Waterways, Yorkshire Water and the local community to look at the whole of Upper Calderdale and consider all the options for reducing the risk of flooding in the area.

The aim will be to gather information so that we can understand all the causes of flooding, and identify the broadest possible range of options to reduce the risk, as well as improve resilience.

Ian said: “Residents in Calderdale need action from us and other key authorities. As a result, we are proposing that this group would put in place a targeted plan which will help to protect people in the Upper Calder valley as quickly as possible, and reduce the misery that flooding can cause.”

Flooding from surface water happens when the local drainage system cannot cope with rainfall. It is extremely difficult to predict precisely where surface water flooding will happen as it depends on ground levels, the amount of rainfall, and the local drainage network.

If necessary, the Environment Agency will issue flood alerts and flood warnings. Information can be found here, http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/31618.aspx or you can follow us on twitter, you can keep track on updates @envagencyyne