Press release

Flood sirens put to the test for Calderdale exercise

Training exercise will test the response of emergency services

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The flood warning sirens in Walsden, Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd will be sounded this week (Friday 14 October) as part of a live training exercise across the valley.

Calderdale Council is holding its biggest ever live training exercise and the Environment Agency is taking the opportunity to test the flood sirens.

Operation Calderdale16 will test the emergency response of the council, the Environment Agency, emergency services and partners to a major flooding incident, including a live search and rescue.

The Environment Agency uses the sirens to warn the Upper Calder Valley communities when rivers are expected to flood. There are eight sirens in the area with an audibility level similar to that used by emergency vehicles.

The sirens will be tested together on Friday 14 October at 10:30am.

Each test will last for two minutes. Residents and businesses in the towns do not need to take any action when hearing the sirens at these times. Loud hailer vehicles will be used to alert people to the tests, ahead of the sirens being sounded.

Joanna Arnold, Environment Agency Flood Resilience Advisor said:

It is important that we test the sirens to check that they are working properly and can be triggered remotely from our incident room in Leeds. This exercise is a great opportunity not only to test the sirens, but our response to a flood incident with our partners.

Although no action needs to be taken during the test, people need to be aware that if they hear the sirens at any other time, then this means that flooding is expected.

Flood water is dangerous, particularly in these areas where water cascading down from the steep surrounding hills means flooding can happen very quickly and with little warning. We would ask people not to put themselves at danger by driving or walking through fast moving flood water. We are also encouraging local residents and businesses to put together a flood plan to keep themselves and their families safe.

For the latest information on current flood warnings and the local weather forecast, Calderdale residents can visit the ‘Eye on Calderdale’ website at www.eyeoncalderdale.com.

To find out more about the dangers of flood water, to find out if your property is at risk of flooding and how to put together a flood plan for your home or business, call Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or visit www.gov.uk/flood.

Published 12 October 2016