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Teignbridge Council staff work round the clock on floods

By This is SouthDevon  |  Posted: November 26, 2012

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Teignbridge staff have been working around the clock to help protect residents against the effects of the severe weather after heavy rain and high winds swept the region.

The Council response teams have been braving the elements to distribute sandbags to residents, clear up the worst affected areas and offer general advice to people on how they can safeguard themselves against any more bad weather.

The authority's out-of-hours service has been kept busy working throughout the weekend to deal with any emergency calls and help people who have been affected by flooding.

The work forms part of the Council’s Emergency Planning functions which co-ordinates a rapid response to emergency situations and manages the recovery to normality afterwards.

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Measures carried out so far include:

- Issuing in excess of 3,000 sandbags in last four days, both from main depot in Forde Road, Newton Abbot, and the 23 satellite stores around the district

- Pulling the mechanical sweepers from scheduled work to prioritise requests for street sweeping to prevent water build-up and sending them high risk areas first

Using 4x4 vehicles to respond to the emergency situation

- Made volunteers available in case emergency rest centres are needed in local communities, including offering advice to places which already have emergency plan procedures in place

- Monitoring coastal areas and defences in case of any breach or potential breach.

The Council has been working closely with the Environment Agency, Devon County Council, Devon and Cornwall Police, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service and the Met Office to provide help and support to communities affected.

According to the Environment Agency, flood alerts remain in place for the Rivers Teign, Bovey and Lemon and coastal streams from Babbacombe to Kenton.

Further rain is expected on Monday and the flood alert remains in force. Standing water on fields and roads may be a problem and people are being advised to avoid going near it or driving through it.

With demand high, Teignbridge is responding to all requests for sandbags and is making sure that householders do not take more than they need in order to avoid problems later with other households.

The Council is urging residents not to take any unnecessary risks. Strong winds will mean that drainage channels and minor watercourses are more likely to become blocked by leaves and wind-blown debris, which could increase the risk of surface water flooding.

People are encouraged to remain prepared by clearing drains and screens and keeping any demountable defences or sandbags ready for used. Roads and transport networks may continue to be disrupted and people should check weather reports and local news before making journeys and to allow for extra time when going anywhere.

Cllr Kevin Lake, Teignbridge District Council’s Executive Spokesperson for Environmental Services, said: “We’ve been working very hard to make sure residents are as best prepared as they can be. Our role has been to provide support, help and assistance to the first responders such as the police and the fire service.

"Our teams have been braving the elements to make sure all stores are fully stocked with sand bags, that roads are kept blockage-free and we have also been keeping an eye on river levels and coastal areas in case further action is required. Everyone is doing a fantastic job and this will continue in the coming days.

“We’ve had lots of calls from people for sandbags and we’ve responded to all of them. We’ve kept the Forde Road depot open until late so people can collect them and we have been making sure all satellite stores are stocked up and refilled. “Rest centre teams have been on standby to offer any help if its needed and staff are working around the clock to assist any community which has been affected by flooding and the effects of the bad weather. This will continue for as long as necessary. All Council services are running as normal.

“We are also urging people to remain vigilant and be prepared. People can check our website for the latest situation and it also contains useful information on what to do should the worst happen.”

Teignbridge has been regularly updating its website with flood advice and help for residents, including links to other agencies including the Environment Agency, Devon and Cornwall Police, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service.

The Council is also keeping people updated via its Facebook and Twitter pages. Visit www.teignbridge.gov.uk, www.twitter.com/Teignbridge and www.facebook.com/Teignbridge

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