Flood scheme in Spen holds firm

Oxford Road, Gomersal
Oxford Road, Gomersal

SANDBAGS were at the ready this week as communities in Spen braced themselves for possible floods.

The Environment Agency put out a warning on Monday to communities and businesses near the River Spen at Blacup Beck, Lands Beck and Canker Dyke on Tuesday, as the heavy rain continued to pour.

As reported in the Spenborough Guardian, parts of Spen were affected by floods during the summer, after Oxford Road in Gomersal was under water, and the campsite for the Cleckheaton Folk Festival was waterlogged in July.

Flood defences in the area, however, such as the new £2.1m flood alleviation scheme near St Peg Close, have done their job after minimal reports of floods.

Ward councillor Kath Pinnock paid tribute to the new flood defence, and said that it could not have been completed a moment too soon.

She said: “We have Yorkshire Water to thank, as the new flood defence they have built off St Peg Close has done its job and protected the area from further flooding. Without it, I am sure that properties around areas such as Radulf Gardens in Littletown would have been affected.”

Surface water has still been a problem though, including at the Princess Mary Playing Fields in Littletown. Nikki Hallows, who works at Spenborough Baths, said: “The playing fields flooded on Monday– it was a small lake! By Thursday, the water had died down a little bit, but it was still the size of a small pond – the lawnmower had to mow around it!”

A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency said: “Looking at the current weather, and forecasts for the rest of the week, the River Spen looks to have seen the worst of the weather – we are more worried about areas in North Yorkshire, such as York.

“There is still a lot of surface water lying around, and we advise people to be vigilant when driving – it is never a good idea to drive through large amounts of surface water, as it can contain sewage.”

The weather did not only affect river levels, as parts of Cleckheaton were left without power on Monday.

Suzel Taber-Shaw, of Taber Holidays in Cleckheaton, said the company’s premises in Tofts Road were left without power for 40 minutes.

She said: “Our power cut out at about 2.40pm, and did not come back on until about 3.20pm. Our energy provider told us they had to switch the electricity off in the area as a precaution due to the weather.”

To keep up to date with flood warnings, visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods.