Council supports communities to become flood aware

Date: 26/01/2016
Ref: PR 6162

A flood awareness event is being arranged by Wakefield Council to help residents and local businesses be prepared for flooding.

December and August last year saw unprecedented flooding in the region, affecting parts of our district. To help residents be more prepared for any future flooding, the Council is holding a drop-in event for people to get advice and support for flooding issues.

The Council, Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water will be hand on to help people prepare for future flooding and offer support and guidance on what to do before, during and after flooding.

The drop-in event is being held at Castleford Civic Centre (Ferrybridge Road, Castleford, WF10 4JH) on Wednesday 10 February from 2pm until 7pm. It is open to anyone who would like to know more about the support available.

Cllr David Dagger, Cabinet Member for Transport and Highways, said: "Flooding can have a devastating impact on homes and businesses and we want to help our communities become more resilient against it.

"We're joining forces with the Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water to help inform people on what help and support is available. It's not just for those that have been affected by flooding in the past, but also for those who are concerned that it could happen to them.

"We want to raise awareness of how flooding can affect lives. Come and speak to our team and find out what you can do to prepare for a flood, to help protect your family and property, and what to do if you get flooded."

Jon Follows, Flood Resilience Officer at the Environment Agency said: "While we do all that we can to reduce the risk of flooding, we can never prevent flooding entirely. It's very important that people are aware of the steps they can take to reduce the impact of flooding on their homes and businesses if it does happen. There is plenty of help and advice available, and we welcome the opportunity to let the people of Wakefield know how to access this. Anyone who can't make the event can visit our website www.gov.uk/prepare-for-a-flood or call Floodline on 0345 9881188 for advice."

Gary Collins, Flood Risk & Engagement Manager at Yorkshire Water, said: "Collaboration is central to the region's effective response to flooding incidents and we work closely with local authorities, the Environment Agency and emergency services. We played a major role in response to the recent floods, with over 500 colleagues involved in the flood relief efforts. Despite the widespread flooding, all drinking water supplies were maintained and not a single customer lost their water supply as a result of the floods. To help support customers, we have also suspended all charges for flooding victims forced out of their homes, as we recognise that many are going through a terrible time as a result of the flooding and we want to help them get back on their feet as quickly as possible."

The event is open to the public. Residents and businesses that were affected last December and August have also been invited to attend, as the Council continues to support those recently flooded.

The Council is currently devising a new Local Flood Risk Management Strategy to provide residents, businesses and communities with the Council's aims for managing flood risk.

The strategy will be out for consultation from Monday 1 February. Residents can then have their say on the proposed document on the Council's website at www.wakefield.gov.uk Copies will also be available at the drop-in event on February 10.

For more information about the event call 0345 8 506 506.

Further information on help and support available is on the Council website at www.wakefield.gov.uk/flooding

Or for more advice on what to do after a flood, or how to protect properties against further flooding, please visit the Environment Agency website at www.gov.uk/environment-agency