Exercise TITAN - Exercising Flood Plans for Leeds
Apr 27, 2018

Crown Point Weir

In March 2018 RAB delivered a multi-agency table-top exercise on behalf of Leeds City Council, aimed at testing the effectiveness of the Council’s Flood Plan and the procedures for the new £50m Flood Alleviation Scheme. Phase 1 of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme was completed in October 2017, it involved the installation of moveable weirs at Crown Point and Knostrop, the first of their kind in the UK.  The scheme also included new flood walls and demountable flood barriers and gates through the City. As a result, some 3,000 homes, 500 businesses and 300 acres of land in the city of Leeds will be protected from flooding.

The 50+ exercise participants included staff from across the various services at Leeds City Council along with individuals from other responding agencies across West Yorkshire including West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service, West Yorkshire Police, Canal & Rivers Trust and the Environment Agency.

Representatives from each of the participating agencies worked together to plan the exercise led by RAB Consultants and our partners Arup.

The exercise not only tested the new plans and procedures, it also provided a safe learning environment in which staff from the Council could practice using the plans, supported by the wider multi-agency stakeholders.

Five Phase of an incident

The scenario was based on a fluvial flood on the River Aire and it's tributaries through the City and surface water flooding in residential and commercial parts of the City affecting major roads and rail infrastructure. The event was significant enough to trigger the activation of the Leeds City Council Flood Plan and required the operation of the Flood Alleviation Scheme. The exercise was designed around the five stages of an incident working through from early warning stage, assess, prepare, response and recovery stage. This allowed all elements of the new Flood Plan to be tested.

The exercise was well received by participants with 100% of participants ‘strongly agreeing or agreeing’ that the scenario was realistic and relevant. 

Ray Pickering was RAB's Exercise Director for TITAN: "we have worked closely with Leeds City Council and their design consultants ARUP throughout 2017/18 to develop skills and competency in flood incident management for staff who operate at tactical and operational levels.  This is a brand new scheme unlike any other in the UK which requires operation and maintenance and close liaison with flood forecasters from the Environment Agency.  We are extremely pleased to have played a part in training Council staff in their new roles and responsibilities for this unique flood alleviation scheme."