It’s now six months on since the devastating floods of December 2015 and the Environment Agency is embarking on a significant program of repairs to flood defenses damaged by the flooding.
More than 9,000 householders and businesses across north and west Yorkshire were affected by the flooding and have spent much of this time dealing with its effects.
Over the last six months the Environment Agency has conducted a massive recovery operation assessing and repairing damaged flood defenses, walls and structures so that they can continue to protect communities.
They’ve checked nearly 8,500 assets in total and had completed all the emergency repairs by the end of February. Field teams and contractors have worked tirelessly to build temporary defenses and clear obstructions such as collapsed bridges, buildings, thousands of tonnes of gravel, debris and vehicles from rivers to reduce further flood risk at 150 locations.
While work continues to clear many more sites the Environment Agency is beginning its program of work to tackle the larger scale repairs to damaged flood defenses.
This week they are rebuilding walls near Shade School and behind the market in Todmorden, which collapsed in the floods. Debris and gravel is also being cleared from the channel to improve the flow of water near the school. Further gravel removal works are being planned across Calderdale in the coming weeks, as well as wall repairs.
Flood bank and wall repairs are being done on the River Aire, from the lower reaches of the catchment at Airmyn, all the way through Leeds and up to Skipton, where defenses have slipped or been damaged by the floods.
On the River Wharfe, work is about to start to repair a bank slip at Collingham near Wetherby, which was another community affected by the Christmas floods.
The target is to restore assets back to pre-winter 2015 standards by the end of September 2016.