On 26 December 2015, the Environment Agency issued flood warnings across Yorkshire and Lancashire as Storm Eva battered the UK. Flooding on a record scale caused devastation to homes and businesses, with over 3,500 homes and businesses affected in Calderdale alone.
According to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, the direct economic impact of the 2015 Boxing Day floods stood at half a billion pounds.
So, two years on we’re taking a look at what has already been done in the region to protect homes and businesses from future flooding and what local residents and business owners should consider when looking to protect their property from future flooding.
Following the floods, strengthening defences was a key area for local councils to tackle; this has included developing programmes of work to reduce the risk of flooding from rivers.
In Leeds, the first phase of the £50m Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme was recently opened and has included mechanical weirs installed in the River Aire as well as the merging of the river and canal.
Similar alleviation schemes worth £15m are currently being developed for Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd.
But what about those homes that were affected on 26 December 2015? In Calderdale, as part of the Flood Action Plan 1,354 homes were approved for flood resilience grants which closed in March 2017, providing residents with an affordable way to protect their properties from future flooding.
More information can be found about the work to reduce future flood risk in the Calderdale Flood Action Plan.
Similar grants were made available to businesses; the West Yorkshire Combined Authority endorsed a £5m fund to help SMEs across the Leeds City Region recover from the damage caused by the floods.
At The Flood Company, we design, manufacture and install flood management solutions for both commercial and residential properties. And in the aftermath of the Boxing Day floods we worked with a number of local businesses and residents to install solutions to reduce their risk of damage to their properties from future flooding.
We were approached by Sainsbury’s to install a flood management solution at their Superstore in Carlisle; following the Boxing Day floods, the store was flooded to a water depth of 1 metre high and cost the business in excess of £10m in loss of stock, trade and plant.
In this case, it was the insurance company who specified that flood protection be installed to mitigate the loss and cost in the case of future flood events. We designed a unique and innovative solution that included a panel system that wrapped the building, as well as a flood barrier and sump pumps.
At The Flood Company, we stress the importance of developing a cost effective flood management solution to ensure minimum disruption to your commercial property in the future. Our commercial flood mitigation solutions give your business continuity in the event of a flood, and reduces the impact on your cash-flow, allowing you to get back to business as quickly as possible.
So, whether you’re a resident or business owner, how can you protect your property against future flooding?
Firstly, there are two types of flood protection – passive and reactive. Passive flood defences protect your property whether you are in or not, whereas reactive flood defences require you to deploy them. Therefore, it’s important to understand what type of protection your property would need.
A Flood Survey can be carried out which will make recommendations about the most appropriate type of flood protection and the required products. Some of the key considerations to be aware of include:
- How high did the flood water come last time?
- How long did the flood last?
- How long do you have to react to a potential flood risk?
- Where did the water come from?
There is still a lot of work to be carried across the Yorkshire region to protect both residential and commercial properties from experiencing similar devastation to that of the Boxing Day Floods in 2015.
If you’re concerned about your property, speak to us today to arrange a survey or even an informal discussion on how we can address your flooding concerns.