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Armed forces called in as Gloucestershire flood risks worsen

By Impeyecho  |  Posted: February 13, 2014

Flooding in Gloucestershire

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The Armed forces have been drafted into Gloucestershire to help with the desperate fight against flooding.

Around 100 troops have arrived to help on the ground in the worst-hit areas and will go wherever they are needed.

They are expected to help in Tewkesbury, which has been hit by some of the worst flooding with large swaths of the borough under water.

The troops from Wiltshire-based 3rd (UK) Division under the command of 43 (Wessex) Brigade will work alongside the county’s flood relief staff.

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As well as helping to fill and place sandbags in local communities, they will assist in clearing roads of broken branches and debris created by strong winds.

This afternoon, they were in Alney Island in Gloucester to help place sandbags.

Commanding officer Joe Winch said: "We have been helping out with what we can, filling thousands of sandbags and helping residents to move their furniture upstairs.

“People are really grateful when we are turning up to help out. To be honest we are just happy to be helping out and giving back."

Speaking on behalf of the county authorities, Councillor Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: “We appreciate the support we're getting from the Government.

“These soldiers will be a helpful addition to the firefighters, council workers, Environment Agency staff and volunteer flood wardens who are working hard to protect homes and businesses in flood affected areas. Their hard work is making a real difference."

Today firefighters rescued stranded residents from Haw Bridge, Tewkesbury, and Sandhurst Lane in Gloucester.

One of the rescue vehicles involved in Sandhurst Lane came from Cleeve Link care home in Bishop’s Cleeve.

Geoff Sallis, Acting Chief Fire Officer for Gloucestershire, said: “Our firefighters have been doing an excellent job rescuing residents who were trapped by floodwater in their homes and helping those that have already had to leave their properties.

“We are on standby to help Gloucestershire’s residents and businesses and continue to work with our partners to keep people safe.”

Tewkesbury Borough Council continues to provide sandbags to vulnerable properties and areas - so far about 6,500 have been issued.

Major roads across the county were closed because of the flooding.

The Gloucestershire Village and Community Agents are continuing to help older people across the county, making sure the most vulnerable are safe and well.

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  • JemmyWood  |  February 13 2014, 8:30PM

    They are not Soldiers, they are Royal Marines... Get it right Citizen!

    |   5