Page last updated at 15:29 GMT, Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Flood warning siren system tested

Improved warning sirens have been tested across a part of West Yorkshire which suffered severe flooding more than eight years ago.

The Environment Agency has replaced its network of sirens in the Upper Calder Valley since the floods in June 2000.

Eight sirens are now placed around Walsden, Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd.

The sirens, which are tested annually by the agency, were heard between 1200 GMT and 1500 GMT.

Almost 30 hours of continuous rain caused the River Calder to burst its banks in 2000, flooding the town of Todmorden and surrounding areas.

Apart from the annual tests, the sirens normally only sound in the event of a severe flood warning being issued by the Environment Agency.

The sirens have been installed to complement the agency's floodline service, which sends a message by text, email or fax telling people when flooding is imminent and what action to take.

Amanda Atkinson, from the Environment Agency, said: "It is important that we test these sirens to check that they are working properly and can be triggered remotely from our incident room in Leeds."

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