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River level rising in areas most at risk of flooding ahead of further rainfall

Kirklees councillors will discuss approach to flooding next week

River levels are rising ahead of further rain forecast.

The River Colne at Marsden is already above the ‘flooding is possible’ level of 0.53m.

On Monday localised flooding caused problems on the rail lines through Marsden but there have been no reported issues elsewhere.

The river in the village has been higher than usual on three of the previous four days, with the river 0.74m at its height.

It comes as Kirklees councillors will meet to discuss local flood procedures and compare Kirklees’ policies to those in Calderdale, where heavy flooding has occurred in recent years and where there is a proactive community response.

In Kirklees the areas most at risk of flooding are Marsden, Milnsbridge, Holmfirth, New Mill, Leeds Road, Mirfield and Ravensthorpe.

And with more torrential rain on the forecast, here’s an overview of the latest on local river levels:

- River Colne at Colne Bridge: the level rose from 0.6m to 0.83m in four hours on Monday - some way off the 1m ‘flooding is possible level’.

- River Holme at Queen’s Mill: the level is some way off the ‘flooding is possible’ level of 1.20m, but on Monday alone it rose from 0.49m to 0.86m in six hours.

Swollen River Calder, Mirfield.

- River Calder at Mirfield: the level at 1.30pm on Monday was 1m below the ‘flooding is possible’ level. Mirfield Town Council is holding a discussion on flooding at its meeting on Tuesday, September 19.

- River Calder, Brighouse: it’s just 3 millimetres below the flooding risk of 0.80m.

- River Calder, Mytholmroyd, Hebden Bridge and Todmorden: the river level rose way above the flooding risk, and locally residents have said while the river is high and flowing fast there are no problems.

Next week Kirklees councillors will hear an update about flood alleviation work in Kirklees.

Instead of clearing all gullies every year, Kirklees now only clears gullies on winter gritting routes twice a year and respond to reports of blocked gullies on other roads when informed.

And the council admits: “Flood risk isn’t real to people until flooding occurs and it’s difficult to engage with at-risk communities that haven’t yet suffered flooding.

“The catalyst for the community volunteer movement in Calderdale has clearly been the repeated flooding that has occurred in the last five years.

“It is difficult to mobilise at-risk communities in Kirklees when they have yet to experience flooding and, at the moment, we continue to be opportunistic and engage with existing community groups where we can.”

Councillors are expected to discuss Kirklees’ approach next Monday.

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