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Volunteers reach out to more flooded communities

10 February 2014

Flood relief supplies delivered from a Red Cross vehicle

As the flooding crisis continues, our emergency response volunteers are broadening their relief effort to include Kent and Surrey.

After working for two weeks to help flooded residents in Somerset, the British Red Cross is now carrying out door-to-door welfare checks in Kent.

Our emergency response volunteers have been calling on vulnerable people in the villages of Bridge and Patrixbourne, where residents are facing a second week of flood-related hardship.

‘Incredible resilience’

In Bridge, a Red Cross catering truck is providing hot meals and drinks to anyone who needs them. Local branches of Asda and Morrisons have donated supplies to keep the van stocked up.

Debbie Braiden, emergency response manager, said: “There’s a great sense of community spirit in Bridge, and the villagers have shown incredible resilience in the face of this prolonged flooding.”

She added: “However, as time goes on more people are becoming vulnerable. That’s why, working alongside St John Ambulance and the local authority, we’re offering more support to make sure residents stay safe and well.”

‘Lost all power’

In Surrey, a Red Cross emergency team used a Land Rover 4x4 vehicle to rescue a disabled pensioner from his home after it was completely cut off by floodwater.

The local council asked them to transport the pensioner from his Sunbury home to safety at nearby sheltered accommodation.

Volunteer Nigel Stanley said: “We were driving through three feet of floodwater in places so it was pretty challenging. The man was in his eighties and a wheelchair user – and he’d lost all power and heating in his home.”

Life-jackets needed

Nigel added: “Once there, we had to push his wheelchair through the water while he lifted his legs above it. Up until that point, his neighbours had been delivering his shopping by canoe!”

There was also further action in Somerset today. The Red Cross helped deliver life-jackets to one family in Moorland who were determined to stay put on their farm.

Using a 4x4 vehicle, our volunteers drove the life-jackets to a safe point in the floodwater, then transferred them to a police boat to complete their journey.

Get advice and information on preparing for and dealing with flooding.

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