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Mayor Dave Hodgson Outlines Extensive Council Flood Preparation Work

February 14, 2014 9:35 AM

Dave Hodgson with Town Bridge behind

Mayor Dave Hodgson has spoken about the actions being taken to ensure everything is being done to prepare for any deterioration in the flooding situation across Bedford Borough. These include the following:

  • Bedford Borough Council flood response officers have been contacting homes that could be affected by continued heavy rainfall.
  • Working with local emergency services and volunteer groups to provide a joined up approach to tackle the threat of floods affecting homes and businesses in the borough
  • Ordering 1,000 extra 'Aqua Bags' in addition to the supply already available. These are ready to be delivered and installed at appropriate locations and can be a key aid in efforts direct the flow of water and help protect communities.
  • working with local organisations including the RSPCA and Bedfordshire and Luton Emergency Volunteers and emergency services to be prepared should flooding take place.

Commenting, Mayor Dave Hodgson said: "Bedford Borough has not seen the level of substantial flooding occurring elsewhere in the country but we cannot be complacent.

"We have plans in place to tackle any floods where they may occur and staff are working with emergency services and local volunteer groups to prepare should conditions deteriorate. We've also been in touch with the RSPCA to enable pets and animals to be protected.

"Our priority will be to safeguard the most vulnerable, the young and the elderly. Our trained teams are contacting homes across the borough to provide advice and information.

"Should flooding occur we have an experienced volunteer flood response team who will be deployed to help protect residents and properties affected. The team have put in additional training throughout the week in case they are called upon to help in emergency situations.

"Council staff have also been out to key locations every day to key locations across the Borough clearing ditches and culverts to improve the flow of water.

"Across the rest of the Council flood preparation has been identified as the top priority with staff primed for action.

Information on the river levels at locations in the borough can be found on the Environment Agency's website here: http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/riverlevels/120732.aspx

The following advice has been issued by Bedford Borough Council this week:

General advice:
• In no circumstances should motorists try to drive through flood water especially where there are "road closed" signs.
• Listen to local radio for local road closure updates.
• Check with the Environment Agency for advice if you are concerned about flood water affecting your property. Sign up to their Flood Alert system to stay up to date.
• Environment Agency website (www.environment-agency.gov.uk) or call the Environment Agency's 24-hour Floodline on 0845 988 1188 or 0345 988 1188. People using social media can also keep up to date by following @envagencyanglia on Twitter, or using the hashtag: #floodaware.
• If you live in a property at risk of flooding, take action NOW. Get prepared with aquasacs and flood boards.
• Comprehensive advice for residents and businesses on preparing for floods is also available on the Bedford Borough Council website www.bedford.gov.uk or via Bedfordshire and Luton Local Resilience Forum website: www.bllrf.org.uk.

The Council also issued a list of the large number of Bedfordshire and Luton Emergency volunteer organisations it is working with, as follows:

• Bedfordshire Hospital Emergency Volunteers
• Bedfordshire Public Emergency Volunteers
• BHC 4X4 Emergency Response Team
• British Red Cross
• CHUMS- Child Bereavement
• Citizens Advice Bureau
• Cruse
• Luton and Dunstable Hospital Emergency Volunteers
• Mid-Shires Search and Rescue (MSAR)
• Plymouth Brethern - Rapid Relief Team
• Rapid Search and Rescue
• Raynet
• Road Victims Trust
• Rotary international
• Royal Vountary Service
• Salvation Army
• Samaritans
• SERV - Emergency Rider Volunteers
• Scouts
• St John Ambulance
• Victim Support - Bedfordshire
• Voluntary and Community Action
• Woodgreen Animal Centre

The Council also works with the Internal Drainage Board and Anglian Water