Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service Press Release

Gloucestershire firefighters sent to help with east coast floods

With more than 20 severe flood warnings in force across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, firefighters from Gloucestershire have been sent to help out.

County crews are currently assisting on the east coast as the area prepares for a potential tidal surge.

Three severe flood warnings, indicating danger to life, have been issued.

About 2,500 homes on the Essex coast are being evacuated as the tidal surge is expected to hit the south-east of the country from midnight tonight.

In Great Yarmouth, Norfolk police are visiting 9,000 homes advising residents to evacuate. Respite centres are also being opened in schools.

More than 20 local firefighters and officers are in attendance across the area with high volume pumps, rescue boats and command support equipment. Boats and personnel from the Severn Area Rescue Association (SARA) are also making their way to the area.

In 2011, Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service joined forces with SARA to provide the first UK water rescue centre meaning the people of Gloucestershire and beyond now have on call an unrivalled provision for marine and land search incidents.

Jon Hall, Chief Fire Officer said: "Gloucestershire has often benefited from incoming support as recently as last November during severe weather so it is good that we are able to offer help to other areas when they deal with incidents on such a scale. We have good welfare and support arrangements in place for our crews while they operate the other side of the country and obviously wish them well with their operations."

Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, Cabinet Member for communities, said: "It's great that Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service is working with SARA to help people on the east coast today. I am confident that they're doing a brilliant job. We have vast experience of dealing with water incidents after we were faced with similar experiences during the 2007 floods."

ENDS

Issued by:Sarah Williams, Gloucestershire County Council Media Team, 01452 426887

5th December 2013