A friendly word of warning to all you (Fluvial Flood Chasers) Now the flood season is upon us
This year the River Calder has flooded many times to date and if it continues it will reach new records heights. This could make 2019 a significate year for our area in how many times the Calder has flooded. This brings me to a second conclusion that constant flooding could result in a new highest level on record. At the moment the highest level on record is at Ledgard Bridge Station, which on Boxing day 2015 reached a level of 5.25m. If you have followed these events over the years, as I have done, you will have noticed a more noticeable change in 2019 when the Calder water level rises faster than the previous year’s, making it more dangerous than ever before to visit the Calder when she is in flood.
Many local people and none local to Mirfield, have become fluvial River reporters (Fluvial Flood Chasers) using social media as there chosen platform to report on fluvial flooding events. Photos and videos are posted as the flooding develops and un-folder. This happens because it is very exciting to see the full power of the River Calder water levels rise to witness the natural hydraulics of the Calder “kick-in” because the Calder water cannot move forward quickly enough, the water rises breaching the Calder’s banks and spilling over, consuming large areas of land (which if I may add are called floodplains) transforming roads and paths in to Rivers in a matter of minutes, making it very dangerous to pass, and to see the Calder’s cold water touching pushing at our bridges, threatening their foundations. When our floodplains are almost full, the Calder speeds up and rushes by. Some people stand in the middle of the bridges (Not a good idea might I add) taking photos as the cold Calder water rushes by only inches away from the underside of the bridge and seconds away from being overwhelmed with cold Calder water. Some drivers cross the bridges in their cars making their way home, not realising the dangers they are putting their selves and their passengers in. Believe me when I say this, if you end-up in the Calder when she is in flood you are in a lot of trouble, if you haven’t drowned, then hypothermia will most certainly finish you off
What has been done to protect people over the years. let me take you back in time if I may. After the 2002 floods the authorities decided to monitor and log flood events. Many times, since then, the River Calder has flooded and yes, you will all remember the great floods of Boxing day 2015. Now 17 years on since the authorities started to monitor and log these “now the norm events”. But what has Kirklees and the Environment Agency actually done to prevent these fluvial River Flooding in Mirfield.
As it happens, Kirklees and the Environment Agency produced a report in 2016, which told Mirfield and Ravensthorpe residents how may properties are at risk from flooding (well-done Authorities)
This study. Identifies a number of properties at risk.
10% AEP (1 in 10 years) Residential 1 Non-Residential Properties14
4% AEP (1 in 25 years) Residential 9 Non-Residential Properties 57
2% AEP (1 in 50 years) Residential 18 Non-Residential Properties 69
1.33% AEP (1 in 75 years) Residential 21 Non-Residential Properties 72
1% AEP (1 in 100 years) Residential 72 Non-Residential Properties 106
1% AEP (1 in 100 years) + climate change Residential 147 Non-Residential Properties 148
0.1% AEP (1 in 1000 years) Residential 1,183 Non-Residential Properties 269
View full report >here<
After the flood on Boxing day 2015 some residents who were affected received a couple of thousand pounds from Kirklees to make good the damage. However, I know of residential and none residential who shelled out several thousands of pounds out of their own pocket to protect their properties.At a meeting with the Authorities they were given very helpful ideas to make the Calder flood resilient from the Residents of Mirfield. However, you can read from the full report it was deemed too expensive. view the full report >here<
I will finish with. Stay safe. Don’t visit the River Calder when she is in flood, and remember in 2019 the Fluvial Calder flooding has become more frequent than the previous years and the river levels rise faster than over the last 17 years, making the River Calder more than ever before a dangerous place to visit when in flood. Sadly, Kirklees has done nothing to protect the people and properties at risk from this ever-increasing problem.