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Volunteers respond to serious flooding in the UK

13 June 2012

People carrying suitcases on their heads wading through flood waters

As parts of Britain continue to be hit by serious flooding this week, the Red Cross is braving the elements to offer support.

On Monday (11 June), more than 30 basement flats on the seafront in Littlehampton, West Sussex had to be evacuated after flooding.
A team of seven emergency response volunteers – equipped with five vehicles – helped transport around 40 people to a nearby rest centre, then provided temporary shelter, hot drinks and advice on contacting insurers and other helpful agencies.

Reservoir cracks

The Red Cross also responded to flash flooding across Wales at the weekend. On Saturday (9 June), volunteers raced to help with the immediate evacuation of homes in Pennal, North Wales, after cracks were observed in a reservoir retaining wall above the village.

As they moved residents to a rest centre in Machynlleth, the fire service used heavy duty pumping equipment to lower the water level.

‘Determined volunteers’

Also at the weekend, Hywel Dda Health Board asked volunteers to provide emotional support at a hospital in Aberystwyth for those who had been forced to flee their homes.

A team of seven volunteers – equipped with 4x4 vehicles – had to negotiate very heavy rain and numerous closed roads to reach their destination.

Alwyn Jones, emergency response co-ordinator, said: “Our volunteers were forced to turn back three times owing to impassable roads and showed dogged determination to finally get to the hospital.

“Among those they helped was a lady in her late 80s had lost everything when her bungalow was flooded. She was totally devastated, and so glad to have one of our volunteers to talk to.”

Learn more about UK emergency response

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