Wokingham Borough Council
Wokingham Borough Council has been busy supporting flood victims across the borough, and has also been helping where possible neighbouring local authorities in need.
While the impact of the flood waters has not been as devastating in the Wokingham Borough, compared to other parts of the Thames Valley and nationally, its effects on those residents it has touched have been soul destroying.
The council has now set up a special task force working with the Department of Transport and the Environment Agency to explore ways to focus on improvements to avoid future flooding and its impact on transport.
It will also invite residents, community groups and businesses to feed into this process to give a complete picture of what is needed. It will announce more details once finalised.
Some 15,000 sandbags have already been issued by the council to those properties already identified at risk of flooding or to vulnerable or elderly residents.
Two vulnerable residents from Loddon Drive next to the Thames were this week rescued by the council – one by boat – while another eight households were able to evacuate themselves.
Chemical toilets are being set up by the council in Hurst for villagers whose homes have no toilet facilities, following flooding of the sewage system.
“These are truly soul destroying times for those residents in the borough whose homes and lives are being blighted by these floods. We’re reacting as fast as we can to help them,” said Cllr Angus Ross, executive member for the environment.
“We will also try and help any victim of the floods in the borough if we can, but please bear with us. Keep an eye on borough alert on our website which is updated regularly with road closures and flooding information.
“Please do not drive through flood water. It never looks as deep as it is, and the fire services tells us it has been busy in recent days rescuing drivers trapped in the cars – when it should have been using its expertise and resources elsewhere.
“Driving through it can also create bow waves pushing the water into people’s homes.”
Resilience officers at the council are holding daily telephone conferences with the other Berkshire local authorities, police and fire service, and provided two water pumps to the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead within an hour of its request.
The borough council has also supplied equipment to West Berkshire Borough Council to protect the electricity substation at Pingewood.
The Embrook, which was recently dredged by the council in partnership with the Environment Agency, has so far not experienced the extent of flooding problems it has shown in the past.
Flooded sewage seeping towards The Embrook School forced the secondary’s temporary closure last week.
“It’s good to find that work since the 2007 floods has protected a number of homes,” Cllr Ross added. “This was achieved through joint funding of some local projects and individual house protection.
“Work will continue to extend these schemes. We will identify and, where possible implement further schemes to reduce the effects of serious flooding on homes and roads. This will be part of the post emergency work we have committed to.”
For the latest road closures and flooding updates visit www.wokingham.gov.uk/community/emergency.
Sign up for text and email alerts www.wokingham.gov.uk/register.
For more information about emergency planning and flooding www.wokingham.gov.uk/community/emergency/weather