Lune Valley village develops emergency plan after floods

Receding floodwater at Church Brow in Halton
Receding floodwater at Church Brow in Halton

A Lune Valley village has put together an emergency plan following the severe flooding and power outages in December.

Access to Halton by road was completely cut off on December 5 2015 after weeks of heavy rainfall and a huge surge of water in the Lune made it virtually impossible to get in or out of the village for several hours.

Homes and businesses were badly flooded and motorists trying to pass through the floodwater became stuck and had to be rescued.

Later that night, the power went out and stayed off for up to three days, with many vulnerable people effectively trapped within their homes without communication.

As a result, residents in the village and the Parish Council decided a plan was needed for future emergencies.

Pete Lambson, who put together the document said: “Essentially the Parish Council and a group of residents came to the understanding that things needed setting in place.

“Carol Slinger from the parish council, myself, and two others said we would research and start the ball rolling. We looked at a number of existing plans and adopted the layout from Sunderland Point, which used the Lancaster City Council model. As a group we will set into motion a confidential plan to seek out vulnerable people in the community and put in place a caretaker scheme.

“We are looking to install a standby generator at The Centre@Halton which is our primary resource for care and shelter.”

The document provides a single source of local information to improve community resilience and intends to provide an effective initial response in an emergency situation, which could include flooding of the Lune, extreme weather, fire, medical and other emergencies, and utility failure.

The scheme is built around a “Community Contact” system whereby several members of the community have volunteered to act as contacts links to the various agencies that deal with emergency situations.

The plan lists contact details, responsibilities and information about resources, taking action at the onset of an emergency, and dealing with day-to-day problems that can arise in an isolated community.

The Centre@Halton, in Low Road, has been designated as the principle village shelter, potentially providing light, heat and meals in an emergency situation. The United Reform Church in High Road and Halton Mill in Mill Lane have also been listed as community resources.

Residents are ecouraged to invest in personal emergency equipment, particularly wind-up torches, LED lamps, radios and phone chargers and first aid kits.

An inventory has also been made of community held equipment in the village. The document, which is available to view at Halton library, also recommends actions in the event of flooding including moving cars, pets, food, valuables and important documents to safety.