Anthony Rae for FOE 13th December 2015: My main occupation yesterday was following the news from the Paris climate change talks, as they proceeded towards a successful conclusion. Calderdale FOE organised an event on 5th December in the middle of those talks, looking at what might emerge from Paris, and both global and local aspects of climate change. I dug out some Hebden Bridge Times frontpages from my archive – End this Flooding Hell! says 12th July 2012 – and used them to illustrate a section entitled ‘Calderdale under Water: what’s it like to be flooded’.
But outside the rain was pouring down.
On my second inspection visit to the town centre (I live 200 feet up the hillside) the Hebden Water was now washing up to the very top of the Wavy Steps, into Oldgate on the other side, and still rising. It had just stopped raining but of course there was more still to come down from the tops. And in Market St the roadway was beginning to be submerged. It looked ominous.
By my third visit at 9.30pm Market St was once more dry again. Looking through the shop windows the interiors appeared dry so either the flood door barriers and heaped sandbags in front of them had done their job, or hadn’t really been tested.
But what had happened in between? This video (beautifully shot by Rogue Robot) shows that the street, and the town, were just a few inches away from another disaster. The last one (actually three in a row) being … in 2012.
Can we see the connection between the global and the local?