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Flood sirens tested across Calder Valley

WATCH: The moment sirens were tested this morning

The flood warning sirens in Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd have been sounded this morning as part of a live training exercise across the Calder Valley.

Calderdale Council is holding its biggest ever live training exercise and the Environment Agency is taking the opportunity to test the flood sirens.

Operation Calderdale16 tests the emergency response of the Council, the Environment Agency, emergency services and partners to a major flooding incident, including a live search and rescue.

The Environment Agency uses the sirens to warn the Upper Calder Valley communities when rivers are expected to flood. There are eight sirens in the area with an audibility level similar to that used by emergency vehicles.

The sirens were tested earlier this morning.

The Calder Valley was one of the worst hit by the Boxing Day floods Credit: PA

Tests lasted for two minutes. Residents and businesses in the towns did not need to take any action when hearing the sirens sounded. Loud hailer vehicles were used to alert people to the tests, ahead of the sirens being sounded.

It is important that we test the sirens to check that they are working properly and can be triggered remotely from our incident room in Leeds. This exercise is a great opportunity not only to test the sirens, but our response to a flood incident with our partners.

Although no action needs to be taken during the test, people need to be aware that if they hear the sirens at any other time, then this means that flooding is expected.

Flood water is dangerous, particularly in these areas where water cascading down from the steep surrounding hills means flooding can happen very quickly and with little warning. We would ask people not to put themselves at danger by driving or walking through fast moving flood water. We are also encouraging local residents and businesses to put together a flood plan to keep themselves and their families safe.

– Joanna Arnold, Environment Agency Flood Resilience Advisor