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Gloucester MP Richard Graham's message to the city as flood levels reach 2007 levels

By Maryam_Qaiser  |  Posted: February 13, 2014

MP Richard Graham

Comments (16)

There is a chance of a tidal surge this evening which may take the Severn at Gloucester to its highest level this winter and since 2007.

More high winds, rain and hail and sleet in the hills are forecast for tomorrow and this weekend.

So this going to be the toughest few days in Gloucestershire yet, others of course have had it much worse already.

My message above all is keep informed (details all circulated last week but repeated below): look out for your neighbour and report anything that needs attention (trees down or houses not sandbagged).

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Meanwhile thanks to the Environment Agency and local authorities for responding rapidly to various messages I sent them with issues highlighted after last week's mail - clearing trees and supermarket trolleys in streams, preparing sandbags around houses closest to the River etc and thank you for identifying potential issues.

But tonight and the next three days will test us even more. If you live on low ground close to the River or any of the various tributaries please check for major obstacles that divert water and make sure you have sandbags if you need them - the city council will supply them: let my office know on 501167 if you can't get hold of any, with your name, house address and tel number.

In answer to queries about power supplies, the flood prevention programme in place at Castlemeads and Mythe stations, along with 24 hour monitoring of the site and pumps on standby, should prevent the 2007 disasters.

100 troops arrive today to support flood protection work by filling and placing sandbags and clearing roads of broken branches and debris created by strong winds. Their first stop will be Alney Island which is now at the most immediate risk of flooding despite constant EA pumping. Staff are on hand to advise on sandbagging individual properties. Residents on Deans Way and Rivermead also have sandbags in use.

Roads: A number of road closures remain in place around the county due to the high water levels. Where roads are closed due to flooding, it’s safest not to attempt to drive through floodwater. For the latest information on road closures go to www.gloucestershire.gov.uk or call Gloucestershire Highways on 08000 514 514.

Rail: As I know from my travels, and because of submerged cable lines, this week FGW is running an amended service between Gloucester and Paddington and latest updates can be found here: www.nationalrail.co.uk/service_disruptions/today.aspx

Follow @Glosprepared, @GlosHighways, @Glosfire and @GlosCC, @EnvAgencyMids on Twitter for updates using the hashtag #floodglos #floodaware, or log onto the website www.glosprepared.co.uk

The Environment Agency’s live flood warning map can be found here:

www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/142151.aspx and the Floodline number is 0345 9881188

Other Help available

A good flood insurance policy is critical and information on claiming and assistance is available here.

The insurance industry has committed to continue to offer flood cover to existing customers until June 2015 when a new scheme negotiated by the government called Flood Re starts that will ensure flood insurance remains widely affordable and available.

We've solved insurance issues for a couple of people: let me know by e mail if you have any problems.

Lastly the Prime Minister's package of measures to help those affected includes:

• £5,000 repair and renew grant for all affected homeowners and businesses• 100% business rate relief for 3 months for all businesses affected by the flooding

• £10 million fund for farmers suffering water-logged fields to help restore it to farmable land as quickly as possible• a total commitment in excess of £750 million from the major banks to provide financial support to business and individual customers affected by the floods

The next few days are pretty critical and will be our biggest test since 2007. As then the key is community resilience and if any of you see a situation that needs help please let me know.

This evening we celebrate Jamie McDonald's amazing 5,000 mile run across Canada. I hope that celebration isn't immediately followed by any of my constituents being flooded at home.

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  • Jacko2013  |  February 14 2014, 1:32PM

    Richard Graham is part of the problem here. HE voted for CUTS in the floods defence budget. If you look at his voting pattern in the house, you'll see that he has NEVER voted against the government, even when it meant voting against help for the people he is supposed to represent. Shame on you tricky Dicky.

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  • Beekeeper  |  February 14 2014, 10:44AM

    This is climate change in action, Dick. The insurance companies and big banks aren't going to sort this one out. We need government action to protect the climate, not just sandbags.

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  • nickthompson  |  February 14 2014, 10:25AM

    supernova1 Two wrongs don't make a right, your party have had 3 years to correct the wrongs made by the pseudo Tory's we were lumbered with for 13 long years.

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  • tomvonforest  |  February 14 2014, 10:24AM

    Attention grabbing headline. I think you need to change that headline immediately. People are probably worried enough without you spouting complete and utter sensationalist nonsense. And I quote: "flood levels reach 2007 levels" compare with: "which may take the Severn at Gloucester to its highest level this winter and since 2007." Please sort it out. People want the facts, not fantasy disaster porn.

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  • uk_socrates  |  February 14 2014, 10:20AM

    @glosanarchy Actually EA staff don't do a lot, they just stand around watching. It would be better to just use the troops more often and maybe pay them a seasonal flooding bonus! Also I am sure most of us would rather have them on UK soil rather than fighting in pointless wars. @nickthompson £1.7m bonus is nothing compared to how much money this government spends every hour. The UK government takes on roughly £18,607,306 per hour in debt alone!. Why are you not moaning about this? Debts have to be paid back by future generations plus interest. Or what about the Chief Executive of the environment agency who earns more than the Prime Minister!. Sadly greed seems to be what motivates people. Very few people moaned about Steve Jobs being a billionaire!. But this is probably because we all gained something in the form of better phones, laptops etc. Sadly we don't have a silicon valley in the UK, so whenever we talk about greed we typically think of bankers in London, and as we cant really see "what they actually do/bring to the world" its easy to label greed a "terrible thing". (But I would argue its okay for some people to be rich, as long as they produce something of great value in the process) Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Sergey Brin and so on.

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  • Lecorche  |  February 14 2014, 10:09AM

    Never fear,folks. Dick's party leader has declared that money is no object when it comes to sorting the floods out.

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  • JemmyWood  |  February 14 2014, 9:59AM

    I wasn't blaming Dick Graham for the floods Supermova1, I was just highlighting the fact that he voted in favour of cuts to the EA Flood Defence Budget in 2010, despite being the MP for a city that has floods of some sort every year. Dancing to the party tune is not looking after the needs of the city. His words are as hollow as an empty drum. And saying that if people see problems that need attention, let him know... Well there was me under the misaprehension that I should have been speaking to the EA and the Council... Not a local tin pot MP who suddenly thinks that nothing can be done without his input. I can't wait to see a picture of Dick in some wellies standing in flood water looking all concerned and getting in the way of people who are ACTUALLY doing work.

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  • supernova1  |  February 14 2014, 9:23AM

    Of course, let's blame RG for EVERYTHING! Fact is, the cuts to EA started under Labour. Fact also, that it is headed by Chris Smith, a Labour MP, now peer, and head of a Govt. Dept that spends more on staff than it does on 'doing things'. He will obviously be sacked if and when the water subsides, but in the meantime, his staff are doing his dirty work. Oh, and it took three months for him to get out of his office and actually visit Somerset. Trouble is, you sack a useless head of a department, eg, Baroness (ha) Sally Morgan of Ofsted, and you get slagged off by the pinko's, and if you DON'T sack one, you get slagged off by the pinko's. Amazing how ALL of the Labour ex-MP's took up The House of Lords, including that arch 'fighter' for the Left and unions, Lord Prescott.

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  • nickthompson  |  February 14 2014, 8:59AM

    "Lloyds Banking Group has awarded its chief executive António Horta-Osório a £1.7m bonus" If we had less greed by those already awash with wealth, there would be no need for any of these cuts, as there would be enough cash for EVERYONE to have a fair crack of the whip.

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  • JemmyWood  |  February 14 2014, 12:41AM

    Aaaah our illustrious MP speaks.. We are all saved!....... This is the man who voted for cuts to the flood defence budget in 2011... He obviously didn't care less about his constituency when he did that, preferring to merrily dance along to his party tune (as normal). VERY hollow words Dick...as normal.

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