Huddersfield villages dodge weekend floods

VILLAGERS put on alert after the Environment Agency predicted flooding for several communities got a reprieve last night.

The swollen river Calder from Battyeford Toll Bridge, Battyeford
The swollen river Calder from Battyeford Toll Bridge, Battyeford

VILLAGERS put on alert after the Environment Agency predicted flooding for several communities got a reprieve last night.

Yesterday morning, after days of heavy rain, officials issued four flood warnings – its second highest alert level – for narrow becks near Highburton, Kirkburton and Fenay Bridge.

The villages were later taken off the “at risk” list after water levels dropped.

But last night, forecasters warned the worse may still be to come, with further rainfall and 60mph winds expected overnight, with experts warning people the conditions pose a “serious threat to life” in some parts of the UK.

Rainfall is estimated to be around 15mm across the spine of Britain, including the Pennines.

The Environment Agency had said North Road, Low Town and Church Green in Kirkburton were likely to flood today if the forecasted rain arrived overnight.

The Spa Bottom area, including the area from Fenay Lane to Penny Lane, Penistone Road, Fenay Lea Drive, Beckside Gardens and Mereside, was also put on notice.

In Highburton, areas around the confluence of Dean Bottom Dike and Woodsome Beck to Woodsome Bridge were on alert as was the Fenay Bridge area.

But by mid-afternoon the warnings were removed.

An Environment Agency spokesman yesterday urged people in the affected areas to use daylight hours to prepare.

Emergency teams from the Environment Agency worked over the weekend to monitor river levels, clear blockages from watercourses and operate pumping stations and washlands to try and manage river levels.

Phil Younge, Flood Risk Manager at the Environment Agency, said: “Our teams have been out around the clock over the last few days to minimise the risks and prepare for flooding.

“We are continuing to deploy teams across the country to warn communities at risk.

“You can sign up for flood warnings and check the latest information on the Environment Agency’s website, where we also have information on how to prepare for flooding.

“Or call our Floodline on 0845 988 1188.

“Over 1,000 properties across the region have received an alert or warning this weekend through our Floodline Warnings Direct service.

“People should check the Environment Agency website for the latest information: www.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood and sign up for free flood warnings on the Environment Agency’s website or by calling the Environment Agency Floodline on 0845 988 1188.”

Elsewhere, Prime Minister David Cameron told of his shock at the flooding which has hit the South West and promised to “ensure everything is being done to help” after a woman died in the chaos.

The woman became the second victim to die as a result of this week’s horrendous weather.

She was killed in Western Way, Exeter, when she was trapped under a fallen spruce tree which injured two others.

On Thursday a man died when his car became wedged under a bridge near to a ford at Rectory Fields, in Chew Stoke, Somerset.

People were forced to flee their homes last night as flood water and torrential rain caused “serious threats to life” in villages in Cornwall.

Mr Cameron said on Twitter: “Shocking scenes of flooding in Cornwall and around the country.

“Govt will help ensure everything is being done to help.”

He made the comment as the weather appeared to improve but as the Environment Agency continued to issue warnings.

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