Army to help ‘exhausted’ flood-hit residents in Yorkshire

The British Army is being deployed to help “exhausted” residents in the flood-hit Calder Valley ahead of Storm Dennis, a council boss said.

For a second weekend in a row, people living in the Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd area of West Yorkshire were preparing for heavy rain to cause flooding in their steep-sided valley.

Calderdale Council said all its teams were working hard ahead of the next storm, and six community “flood hubs” set up this week will remain open.

But it said its resources have been stretched due to the impact of last weekend’s Storm Ciara, and it welcomed the additional help from the 4th Infantry Brigade.

Troops will support organisations, residents and businesses on the ground, the council said.

If necessary, soldiers will also provide help with warning and informing residents, and work on potential recovery efforts from high risk or flooded areas.

Calderdale Council leader Tim Swift said: “The presence of Army officers in Calderdale will be a reassuring sight for the many residents and businesses who are still recovering from Storm Ciara and preparing for Storm Dennis.

“Council staff, partners, volunteers and community groups have worked tirelessly all week and will continue to work around the clock for as long as necessary to help keep people safe and to manage the flood risk.


“This extra and expert resource couldn’t be more welcome to support already exhausted communities and help us respond to further weather warnings across Calderdale.”

On Friday, Mytholmroyd Flood Wardens posted on their Facebook page: “Everything we are hearing about this weekend is that it is going to be horrendous.

“Whilst we do not wish to scaremonger please have a plan.”

Last weekend, a month’s rain fell in just 12 hours on surrounding fells.

Since then, heavy plant was brought in to lift huge bags of gravel onto the banks of the River Calder in Mytholmroyd.

Of more than 400 properties flooded across Yorkshire last weekend, more than 200 were in Mytholmroyd – a village, like many in the area, still recovering from the devastating Boxing Day floods of 2015.

A £35m flood defence scheme which was started in the wake of those 2015 floods was not due to be completed until the summer.