River forecasts provide Calderdale flood risk information

The Environment Agency has created a new free service which provides people in the Calder Valley with river forecasts to help them manage their flood risks.

It is being made available on the Gov.UK website and shows a 36-hour forecast alongside observed data for the past five days.

The service covers the River Calder at Walsden, Todmorden, Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd and Sowerby Bridge. The aim is to help people be more aware of risks and be able to plan for potential flood incidents.

Previously, people could view river levels for the past five days, but now they can search by postcode on the river and sea levels service page and see what levels are expected to look like for these rivers over the next 36 hours.

These new river forecasts are calculated by computer models that take into account data like current flows and expected rainfall.

The introduction of this service follows a successful trial for people living in the community between March and June 2017. The plan is to continue to refine the service based on feedback from users, before it is rolled out more widely.

Simon Hildon, from the Environment Agency’s flood resilience team in Calderdale, said: “We are always looking at ways to use technology to better share information with people. Residents have told us that they would find it really useful to see these river forecasts to help them manage their flood risk.

“We want people to know if they’re at risk of flooding, be prepared, and take action to protect themselves and their families. A wealth of information is available on our website and we’d encourage everyone to check whether they’re at risk.”

Karl Boggis, one of the flood wardens in Mytholmroyd, said: “As flood wardens we use the river levels service to see what is happening at, not just, our measuring station, but also those up stream. Having the addition of the 36 hours of forecasted level, helps us better prepare and inform our community of what might be expected.”

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