A company which produces pioneering sandless sandbags is helping a flood-struck community in Yorkshire.
Be prepared for the unexpected is the stark warning from volunteer flood wardens in Calderdale.
Katie Kimber is one of two Environment Agency flood wardens in a newly formed group set up to help protect residents and businesses in Luddenden Foot and they are looking to recruit more this Autumn.
We spent a fantastic day at Warland Farm in July taking part in a Data Walk arranged by Louise at Lancaster University, Louise is looking at climate change, with flooding being a focus, and how scientists, technologists and people experiencing flooding might work together for prediction.
Waterhouse Podiatry and Chiropody is based in the centre of Hebden Bridge and run by owner/podiatrist Wendy Waterhouse, Wendy is focused on providing a quality, comprehensive, chiropody / podiatry service. Serving Hebden Bridge, Todmorden, Walsden, Mytholmroyd, Luddenden, Halifax and surrounding areas.
Wendy moved into her business premises after the Boxing Day floods of 2015 and was aware that the building had been flooded, with this in mind Wendy wanted to make sure she had done everything she could to protect herself. We asked Wendy a number of questions to see how FloodSave is going to benefit her business.
Having a personal flood plan is a must if you have been flooded before or live in a flood risk area. It’s a quick check list to help when you’re under pressure, some examples of what you can include are listed below:
The sun might be shining and the threat of flooding may be at the back of your mind but there’s never a better time to prepare than NOW, preparation is the key and can help you feel in control when the chaos of flooding rears it’s ugly head.
Prepare a flood plan, if you have been flooded before you will know how quickly waters can rise and panic sets in. Having a plan gives you focus and allows you to prioritise. Put your flood plan and any other important documents out of flood risk. You should include the following in your plan:
SUDS stands for Sustainable urban drainage systems , they provide a natural approach to managing drainage.
A few weeks ago we visited the Mytholmroyd Flood Information Centre based at the Community Centre Car Park in Mytholmroyd. It was an opportunity to chat with Alison from VBA about the Mytholmroyd Flood Scheme and have a play with the interactive flood model.
Community Flood Action groups are a group of volunteers from the local area who provide the eyes and ears on the ground for the Environment Agency and other connected organisations such as Calderdale Council and Calder Valley Search and Rescue. There are currently eight groups dotted along the Calder Valley, eight recognised areas where regular flooding occurs.
WATERMARK FLOODSAVE is a match funded savings scheme for businesses and homes who are not covered by the floodRe scheme. A unique flood savings scheme that can protect you financially against flooding.
£500,000 has been set aside from the money raised for the flood fund, to create the WATERMARK FLOODSAVE scheme.
As the wind down for Christmas took hold the new Watermark office opened it’s doors to let people savour the flavour of the eagerly awaited Watermark gin. With nibbles, ice, lemon and tonic we wasted no time in cracking open the bottle and experiencing the exceptional flavours of the gin.
We took a stall at the popular Totally Locally Christmas Market based at Sowerby Bridge to raise awareness of Watermark and give people the opportunity to buy a selection of the merchandise.
Dr Julia Meaton of Huddersfield University visited Watermark early December with her group of students who are studying Risk, Disasters & Environmental Management.
We joined the ARTbound Community Christmas art fair in the Waterfront Hall, Town Hall Hebden Bridge with many wonderful artists and makers.
Luddenden Mayor Gill Radford ran her first fundraising event of the 2016-2017 season at Hebden Bridge Golf Club on 30th September 2016. The event was a very successful fashion show which saw Gill play a starring role as a model for the evening.
By Richard Kimber
Flood Aware is a handy app for tracking water levels in your local area, the data is sourced from the Environment Agency (EA).
June popped into the hub to see us last week with her trusty companion, a friendly face with a story to tell. June had initially come to see if we could arrange for some of her furniture to be recycled. It actually turned into an hour of lovely conversation where we found out how the floods had ruined June’s home on Boxing Day 2015.
We had the pleasure of welcoming Marshalls into our hub in Hebden Bridge this week, we have a lovely new display for you to see which demonstrates simple examples of sustainable drainage systems that we can adopt.
Heart Gallery is located in the heart of Hebden Bridge on Market Street, a gem occupying a former Baptist Chapel in its own grounds. Alison Bartram owner of Heart Gallery has lovingly restored the building and is proud to be celebrating 10 years on Market Street.
On Saturday 20th August The Cragg’s Country Business Park hosted a fun filled day in aid of Watermark Flood Fund, the weather was not kind , the rain lashed down and the wind howled but nothing could dampen the day.
By Trish Wood
Watching the flood devastation on TV doesn’t prepare you for the reality of walking along pavements piled high with the entire contents of someone’s home…. especially when almost every pile is topped with the heartbreaking sight of a sodden, battered and filthy Christmas tree still clinging forlornly to its once glittering decorations.
Since the launch of Watermark Flood Fund in April it’s been non stop, the response to the project has been huge, we have eighteen businesses and over twenty-five products supporting the Watermark Flood Fund. New products and services are added weekly , it’s really popular,we have lamps,memberships,events,concerts, coffee, books, art work to mention a few. It’s all about businesses and communities working together to look after each other.
Squidshock Tattoo Co are based in the heart of Sowerby Bridge.
Jonny and his team at Squidshock were badly affected by the Boxing day 2015 floods, the shop was destroyed along with all the tattoo equipment and furniture. Jonny wasted no time in clearing and re-fitting the shop along with many volunteers and helpers and managed to get back to business as soon as possible.
Pennine-Pack is a family run environmental consultancy, specialising in ‘the packaging regs’
Pennine-Pack was set up to meet the needs of businesses in West Yorkshire who want to be members of a compliance scheme where they know who they are dealing with and where their individual needs can be met with practical face-to-face support at a sensible price.
The Watermark Community Hub opened it’s doors on the 24th June 2016, Christmas Eve in the Calder Valley, it marked the beginning of a festive weekend. You may be wondering why we had Christmas in June, people here didn’t get a Christmas last year due to the floods so we celebrated 6 months late.
Greg Clark (Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government) came to visit Hebden Bridge and find out all about Watermark Flood Fund back in April, we had a great time showing him the delights of Calderdale.
It’s been an eventful eight weeks filled with branding, design, screen printing, web building, filming, chatting, espresso and much more!
Chadwick Lawrence LLP Solicitors are one of the first businesses to sign up to the Watermark campaign.
A Day of Inky Hands as we got Printing Our Watermark Bags
Today has been a great day.
We’ve been working with those lovely people at The Egg Factory in Hebden Bridge to produce Watermark bags and prints.
By Steve Duncan – Community Foundation For Calderdale
The Calder Valley Flood Appeal – Time to Reflect Boxing Day
As a new year approached and I was tucking into some tasty Boxing Day fayre with my wife Alex and parents in Thirsk, the BBC News came on showing unbelievable scenes of flooding in Sowerby Bridge, Mytholmroyd and in numerous places across Calderdale. The images that most struck me showed floating cars in front of the new Sowerby Bridge swimming pool; this was my home town under water. It was shocking and unreal!
I turned to Alex and my parents and told them that this would be the end of the Christmas holiday for me. I needed to get to the office and co-ordinate our response to the unfolding disaster.
My colleague at the Community Foundation for Calderdale, Emma Woods-Bolger, also had her Boxing day festivities rudely interrupted – and she quickly uploaded an appeal page onto our website (www.cffc.co.uk) and started posting about the floods and our appeal across our social media accounts.
Written by Shirley Kumar
(Yes we are going for the cheesiest headline prize!)
Boxing Day 2015: Some 2,720 households and 1,250 businesses watched helplessly as up to 6ft of water engulfed their homes and premises.
Cold, wet and in shock, the last thing the valley folk thought they needed was comfort food. But with chefs bringing curry to the little old lady serving tea and biscuits from a wicker basket – clearly others thought differently. Food was to become a symbol of unity.
During the floods, the goodness and humanity of people was laid out for all to see across social media, and particularly on the facebook groups of Calderdale. As time went on these beautiful stories got lost below posts on insurance, Government actions and more. We wanted to share them for posterity, and to help us remember the time when we all came together. We live in a beautiful place.
Christine Davenport 31st January Halifax
There’s a lot of people in the area who came out to help but didn’t want to be named. They came in silently, mopped, swept, cleared, patrolled, made flood safe’ish, and helped make and distribute sand bags around the town. They saw a chance to help out, blended in without fuss then walked away when they tired. I met a number of these silent heroes while driving and handing out chips and butties with my grandson around the valley through the night. Many didn’t live in the area but came to help. You will probably be watching this site so on behalf of the many people you helped. A very massive thank you from us all here in the valley xx
Artist and writer Rachel Kemp, has written a book for children about the floods in Calderdale it very quickly became an Amazon best seller. On boxing Day 2015, Storm Eva took it’s toll on the Calder Valley. With enormous floods and devastation, who would have thought this tragedy would pull communities together and with a scrub-a-dub-dub and plenty of muscle, they all worked together in this time of trouble.
The book is called simply The Flood. This is the original artwork from the book. You can find it on Amazon by searching for Rachel Kemp or by clicking here .
Rachel has already received some lovely reviews:
This book is a fabulous summary of the recent events in Calder Valley. The illustrations are fantastic and such a wonderful representation of the area.
***** Beautifully written.
Lovely little story explaining not only the floods, but how everyone pulled together to help fix the damage caused and get the Valley back on its feet.
Beautifully illustrated, my two year old daughter enjoyed finding different
things in the pictures. I highly recommend.