Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service Press Release

Stay safe in wind and rain this Christmas week

As people across the county get ready to celebrate Christmas and the New Year, Gloucestershire County Council urges everyone to stay safe as more bad weather is expected towards the end of the week.

Forecasters are predicting rain will ease until Boxing Day, however following a full 24 hours of extremely wet and windy weather, motorists are being asked to avoid driving through floodwater.

The council's highways gangs have been taken off normal duties and are ready to respond to any emergency calls. They have been busy throughout the day and night clearing gullies and road debris around the county.

Isolated showers are expected today and Christmas Day, but more heavy rain and strong winds are anticipated for later in the week.

All roads are currently passable with care, but drivers can expect standing water over the festive period. Drivers are being warned to avoid known flooded routes, to allow extra time for their journeys and to avoid travelling in peak periods if possible.

Chief Fire Officer, Jon Hall said: "We can't stress enough how important it is to avoid floodwater wherever it occurs across the county. There is no way of knowing how deep the flooding is or what lies beneath, so the only advice is to avoid these routes."

"Last night alone, more than 70 calls were received by Gloucestershire fire service, the majority of which were a direct result of the weather conditions. Our teams will continue to respond to any emergency calls and protect properties when possible."

Cllr Vernon Smith, cabinet members for highways, said: "These conditions are going to cause disruption when on the roads and travelling to see loved ones, but I would encourage people to remain calm and to take extra care if they are out driving, particularly on higher speed rural roads."

"Since the flooding in 2007, a lot of work has been done to improve our drainage systems; however we still encourage people to think about their journeys before they set off and always avoid driving through floodwater."

Follow @GlosHighways and @GlosCC on Twitter for updates.


Issued by: Charlotte Merryfield, Gloucestershire County Council Media Team, 01452 425226

24th December 2013