How Hebden Bridge Flood Volunteers tackled Storm Angus

Hebden Bridge

The Calder Valley in West Yorkshire, is a steep sided valley which reacts very quickly to outbreaks of rain.  The hillside roads become de facto rivers as the water run-off from the surrounding fields and woodland cascades down the roads.

Hebden Bridge, in the Calder Valley, is a renowned flooding hotspot.  The water from the hillside hits the main road at speed, over-shoots the drains and then floods the High Street, damaging both residential and retail property at significant financial and emotional cost.

The Flood Volunteers have taken delivery of some ‘Flexible Flood Defence Blocks’ and have used them most successfully.


Flood defence blocks direct flood water into drains

                                                                                                              They have placed them around the drains on the descent roads around Hebden Bridge. They create catchments around the drains, slowing the water and enabling the drains to take the water away, so protecting residential and commercial properties in the town centre.




Storm Angus

During Storm Angus the ‘Flexible Flood Defence Blocks’ were put to good use again.  Various factors were contributing to a potentially dangerous situation: The River Calder was at a really high level; leaves were blocking drains and culverts; and this was in addition to a critical level of water run-off from the hillside.

Flexible Flood Defence Blocks diverting flood water


The Flood Volunteers quickly put the ‘Flexible Flood Defence Blocks’ in place and directed the water run-off into a nearby canal. There was a noticeable and immediate reduction of around 80% of the run-off water reaching the High Street.

“Never before has there been such a marked contrast!” said Andrew Entwistle, Flood Warden, Hebden Bridge.


Later that day property further up the hillside was under threat. Volunteers armed with 40 ‘Flexible Flood Defence Blocks’ were able to direct the flow of water away from the affected residential property.  Due to the speed with which the Volunteers could direct the water only 2 homes suffered some comparatively minor damage out of the potential 20- 25 houses.

“Thank heaven for the ‘Flexible Defence Blocks’.  In the past, we would have had to fill and carry many, many sandbags over a greater period of time and we would not have been able to save as many homes from damage”

A Flexible Flood Defence Block

                                                                                                                Another advantage is that after each use, the Flood Volunteers collect up the ‘Flexible Flood Defence Blocks’, clean them with a power washer and then store them away for the next time they’re needed.  They have been reused many times now and are an invaluable tool to the Hebden Bridge Flood Volunteers.


“I am delighted to pass on the thanks of the townsfolk.  I’d go so far as to say that the blocks saved the day again! Thank you” Andrew Entwistle, Hebden Bridge, Flood Warden.

UK Flood Defence Alliance

We are the UK Flood Defence Alliance.  We offer our customers a comprehensive range of flood products designed to meet their individual needs.  We offer advice on our website or you can contact us directly on 020 8442 0872 or by emailing  We are always happy to help.