Thursday, July 26, 2007


This is how you help people deal with flooding, you tell them the perils and try to help:

Terry Standing, chief fire officer in the county, told "It is a real tragedy that we have suffered two fatalities in the past 24 hours which were most likely due to people attempting to remove flood water."

He urged the public to think "safety first" when trying to pump out floodwaters

Despite widespread devastation, there have been few flood-related deaths so far.


News of the deaths came as thousands of Britons already hard-hit by the worst flooding for decades faced more downpours today in the wettest early summer on record.

The Met Office confirmed that the period from May to July was the soggiest since records began in 1766 - even before July has ended. According to the Met, 387.6mm (16 inches) of rain has already fallen across England and Wales, double the average.

The worst of the day's heavy rain was expected to fall south of the areas currently worst affected. But flood-hit communities in Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire also faced heavy spells.

However, the Met Office said this spell of rain should pass through relatively quickly in most places.

Even as Oxfordshire fire and rescue service confirmed that waters in Oxford had begun to subside, experts warned of the dangers of disease from the muck left behind.

A floods expert, Professor Ian Cluckie, told reporters: "People need to realise this is raw sewage they are walking around in. I've seen pictures of kids walking around in the flood water. For God's sake don't let them."

The health and protection agency said: "The floodwater affecting your home or other property may have been contaminated with sewage, animal waste and other contaminants. However infection problems arising from floods in the UK are actually rare."

The agency also advised people to avoid contact with the floodwaters. A spokeswoman said: "We would discourage people from walking around in the murky waters. They won't be able to see obstacles in the water, which could cause injury, and there's a risk of contamination from untreated sewage."


In Gloucestershire, officials were still struggling to distribute water supplies to 350,000 people left without running tap water.

Bowsers, or street tanks known, set up in almost 1,000 locations, were beginning to run dry in some places as Severn Trent Water said there had been difficulties filling them up as regularly as planned."We have had 34 tankers on the road to refill bowsers. We do know there are problems trying to achieve the four or five fills that are our target," David Wickens, Severn Trent's environmental manager, told BBC radio.

He said the issue had arisen because large tankers were struggling to navigate small streets while there was a lack of smaller tankers or qualified tanker lorry drivers.

The Red Cross, which has raised £500,000 through its national floods appeal, will also deliver 400 food parcels to the most vulnerable people affected.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

No comments: