Tag Archive: flood

Flash flooding in Brum

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WATER WORLD: The Tenth Lock in Brierley Hill shared this photo on Facebook

WATER WORLD: The Tenth Lock in Brierley Hill shared this photo on Facebook

West Midlands chaos as water floods hundreds of homes

Flash flooding has hit parts of the West Midlands, causing homes, businesses, cars and roads to become submerged under water.

flood manhole (292x450)On Thursday, the chaotic deluge started at around 6pm. Over 1,000 flood-related calls inundated West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS).

It has been reported that 1,000 homes in Birmingham either flooded or were at risk of flooding.

South Birmingham and the Dudley region appeared to be the worse affected.

The radiotherapy section of the former Queen Elizabeth Hospital also had to be cleared of an incredible 5,000 litres of water.

It is the latest bout of flash flooding to hit the region in the last few days, with Birmingham's Heartlands Hospital declaring a major incident when its accident and emergency department was hit.

WMFS Area Commander Ben Brook praised the response of our Fire Control staff and that of firefighters who tirelessly responded to incidents in spite of challenging and sodden conditions.

floods (289x450)“Although we believe that the worst of the weather has now passed, we are still asking people to be vigilant and to beware of the likelihood of intense rain with little notice.

“There is also likely to be a lot of standing water on roads, and we would remind people not to enter floor water either in vehicles or on foot. There will also be debris and waste on some roads, so drivers should be alert.

“In spite of the horrendous spate conditions, we believe that no-one was seriously hurt and would like to thank people for their patience and support throughout.”

Britain has been battered by heavy rainfall this week, with some parts lashed with as much as 40mm of rain. There are warnings of more wet weather on its way.

Thunderstorms and lightning hit England and Wales, while heavy showers have also affected north-eastern parts of Scotland.

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Flooding bill tops £1BILLION: Gov’t offer ‘not enough’ to protect Leeds

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UNDERWATER: Hundreds of businesses and homes were submerged in flood water following the Boxing Day downpour

UNDERWATER: Hundreds of businesses and homes were submerged in flood water following the Boxing Day downpour

Leader of Leeds City Council, Cllr Judith Blake, has labelled the proposed government investment in the city following the Boxing Day floods as ‘disappointing’ and is keen for the situation to be reviewed.

A number of homes and businesses were flooded during the downpour in December, when the River Aire burst its banks.

CALL TO ACTION: Leader of Leeds City Council, Cllr Judith Blake, has called for a greater response to the floods from government

CALL TO ACTION: Leader of Leeds City Council, Cllr Judith Blake, has called for a greater response to the floods from government

As the clean-up continues, figures released this week suggest that the total cost of the floods across Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cumbria will surpass £1.3billion.

£33 million has been pledged by Transport Minister Robert Goodwill – recently appointed Yorkshire’s new flooding envoy, to combat flood defences on the River Aire, and further reiterated by Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Elizabeth Truss.

However Cllr Blake says this money was actually approved several years ago and more must be done to handle the current situation.

“The comments by the Secretary of State are disappointing as they do not commit the government to providing the investment in the comprehensive flood defences the city and its residents and businesses clearly need.

“The work going on in the city centre is only one element of a much larger plan for the whole city, and we are determined to see that comprehensive protection originally put forward by the Environment Agency in 2010 reinstated.

“The people of Leeds deserve better than to be short-changed with anything else than the best possible level of protection, so we are very keen to speak to the Secretary of State as soon as possible as part of the review into the situation in Leeds she promised.”

In 2011, a £190 million flood protection scheme on the River Aire was cancelled by the government.

Speaking in Parliament, Leeds West MP, Rachel Reeves, also questioned the government’s decision to cancel the funding.

She said: “If [the flood protection] had been in place, businesses on the Kirkstall Road would not have been devastated by the floods on Boxing Day.

“We can never allow that tragedy to happen again—what will the Minister do?”

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Fierce festive floods mean lasting damage in Yorkshire for the New Year

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LAUNCHING THE CANOE: Children in York use canoes to rescue stranded homeowners (Pic credit: 121 Tuition)

LAUNCHING THE CANOE: Children in York use canoes to rescue stranded homeowners (Pic credit: 121 Tuition)

Radical flood defence plans are required after intense rainfall causes widespread damage

West Yorkshire has been battered by record-breaking rainfalls over the festive period, causing the River Aire to burst its banks and torrents of water to gush into homes and businesses.

The town of Keighley was particularly hit by devastating floods which resulted in widespread damage to the local residents’ houses.

A mass clean-up has taken place where members of the public joined forces with the army, police, fire fighters, council workers and community organisations.

Morrisons, Asda and Sainsbury's supermarkets donated cleaning products for distribution to the flood-hit households.

Among the organisations involved was the InTouch Foundation.

Osman Gondal, CEO of the InTouch Foundation said: “We heard about the floods, and we activated our team to go out and do an initial assessment.

“We partnered up with an organisation called the Al-Hikmah Project from Utley, Keighley, who also volunteer at the InTouch Foundation.

“There was going to be a need for a clean-up and for food distribution. Most people’s electricity and gas were affected so they couldn’t even make something as simple as a cup of tea.

“We sent out our InTouch van to the scene and gave out hot meals, teas and coffees and biscuits to tackle the immediate need of people not having access to food. The food was sponsored and distributed by the Al-hikmah Project and the Muhammadi Masjid. This was welcomed by the local residents.

WELLIES ON: Volunteers all chip in for the big clear-up (Pic credit: 121 Tuition)

WELLIES ON: Volunteers all chip in for the big clear-up (Pic credit: 121 Tuition)

Osman said that the community really knitted together. He continued:  “I have to take my hats off to the fire service and the police.

“They were pumping out all the water whilst we were involved in the actual clean up. But most importantly, I would like to congratulate the local volunteers coming together to help the local community they showed real community spirit and drive.”

However, Osman thought that the local council could have been more prepared.

He said: “The council should have pre-empted what was going to happen and had the services on stand-by so that they could get out there immediately.

“I think much of the damage could have been controlled by the issuing of flood defences, such as simple things like sandbags.”

Residents in Keighley have now returned to their houses. The immediate effect of the flooding has been tackled but the clean-up operation is not finished. It will take months for people to get back to normality.

Keighley town councillor, Ian Dermondy, posted on social media that the people in the town had been "fantastic".

"Everyone needs a pat on the back," he said.

In York, children as young as eight were helping in the clear up. Kabir Hussain was one of the volunteers in York, who was part of team from 121 Tuition who also wanted to offer their help. He said: “I decided to join them to do some good, after all, that’s what Muslims are all about.”

Kabir continued: “It was Christmas for many people, so isn't showing kindness and support what the holidays are all about? We care for communities, regardless of their race, ethnicity or religion.”

Shahida Kola, director of 121 Tuition said: “One of the locals who was trapped in his house so some of the team took a kayak to the back of the house which was flooded up to the waist and assisted him out of his home.”

This week, Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged £40 million to bolster flood defences in the north.

In a letter to Keighley and Ilkley MP Kris Hopkins, Northern Powerhouse Minister James Wharton has said an initial payment of £601,509 was made to Bradford Council on 30 December to support the flooded households.

SUBMERGED: Kids help in the clear up of York after record-breaking rains cause untold damage (Pic credit: 121 tuition)

SUBMERGED: Kids help in the clear up of York after record-breaking rains cause untold damage (Pic credit: 121 tuition)

Zafar Ali, councillor for Keighley Central said: “I am very distressed and worried about the floods we have been experiencing.

“Much more needs to be done and myself and my colleagues are aware of this. The local authorities and the government are negotiating future funding.

“We are having a meeting next month to put in place radical and definitive plans that will make Keighley more secure in the face of floods. We need a strategy for the future so that this will not happen again.”

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, is seeking urgent talks with the government about re-instating the flood defence scheme previously cancelled in 2011.

She said: “This scheme would have given the city protection along the Aire...The extent of the devastation makes it perfectly clear that we need to take a longer term view than existing funding packages are offering.

The people of Leeds deserve better than to be short-changed with anything else than the best possible level of protection, so we are very keen to speak to the Secretary of State as soon as possible as part of the review into the situation in Leeds she promised.”

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Hundreds dead in Indian floods

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RESCUE: National Disaster Response Force has rescued more than 10,000 people so far

RESCUE: National Disaster Response Force has rescued more than 10,000 people so far

SAVED: Thousands are reportedly still awaiting rescue

SAVED: Thousands are reportedly still awaiting rescue

People still trapped in 5,000 submerged homes

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised £99 million to the flood-hit city of Chennai in southern Indian where floods have claimed at least 260 people.

Mr Modi announced the aid while touring the Tamil Nadu state where more than 5,000 houses are still flooded with people trapped in them awaiting rescue.

The National Disaster Response Force has rescued almost 11,000 people.

Director General O P Singh said his teams are expected to rescue and reach out to more people as flood waters have receded in some places.

“We have rescued more than 10,000 people till now. 20 more teams from various locations have been mobilised to Tamil Nadu and the total strength of the NDRF by tonight would be 50. We expect to have better results today as things have improved and rains have stopped over the last night,” he said on Friday 4th December.

RELIEF AID: Food supply has been brought in by boat

RELIEF AID: Food supply has been brought in by boat

Three days of rain this past week led to massive flooding in the city which follows a week of non-stop rain last month.

Schools, colleges, factories and transport lines have all been affected and electricity supply has been suspended across the city.

Trains have been suspended and the airport has been temporarily shifted to a naval air base about 40 miles outside of the capital.

Latest reports are that flood waters are receding but many people were still affected and in need of assistance.

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A United Britain

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A team of Yorkshire volunteers headed south last weekend to help tackle the rising flood waters which have left many parts of England submerged.

Members of the Yorkshire branch of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA) joined up with fellow flood relief volunteers to provide support for those affected by the recent downpours.

Throughout recent weeks, harsh weather conditions have caused severe damage to properties across the country yet support has begun to arrive from an array of backgrounds.

TEAM: Volunteers worked alongside army personnel to create sandbags as flood defences, and donated blankets

TEAM: Volunteers worked alongside army personnel to create sandbags as flood defences, and donated blankets

Diverse faith groups, ethnicities and races have united to help those affected and are working side-by-side in affected villages across the UK.

Sikh members of Khalsa Aid and volunteers from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association joined local community groups to wade through the mud and water and lay sandbags in Worcester.

Dr. Aziz Hafiz, a national AMYA disaster and relief co-ordinator from Bingley, said: “Several hundred volunteers have taken time off work to travel hundreds of miles to assist with relief efforts.

“I can't describe how touched we have all been by the warmth of the communities and people we have assisted. We are proud to be able to work alongside other faith groups and the army.”

UNITED: Volunteers from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association were invited to pray inside the Christian St Paul’s Church during their work in Staines

UNITED: Volunteers from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association were invited to pray inside the Christian St Paul’s Church during their work in Staines

Commenting on the work of the volunteers Kevin Purcell, Policing superintendent for North Worcestershire, added: “[It is a] very generous gesture by the AMYA, donating large number of blankets to troops on flood effort in Worcester.

“Your gift and the significance it bears is noted, with troops, police and the community truly appreciative. My words may be kind, they are just words, your action and deeds are so much more.”

Earlier in the week soldiers, members of a local Church and volunteers from the AMYA worked tirelessly to clear and fortify St. Paul’s Church in Staines.

In a sign of public unity, members of the Christian community later invited AMYA volunteers to say their congregational prayers in the same church.

RESCUE: Some people required assistance to get out of their homes as the water level rose

RESCUE: Some people required assistance to get out of their homes as the water level rose

On Friday a group of volunteers from the same Muslim group worked with the local community to prepare St. Peter's Church in Chertsey so that a local wedding could go ahead.

Cllr Shannon Saise-Marshall, Councillor at Runnymede, Chertsey, added: “I'm here at the Runnymede Council... and we are publicly thanking Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth for all their generous help. They are true heroes rolling up their sleeves and getting on with the job.”

Volunteers have been based in Surrey, Berkshire, Middlesex, Dorset, Somerset, the Midlands, and North West England. The AMYA is operating a 24 hour rota with a central team surveying the hardest hit areas and deploying volunteers, 4x4 vehicles and supplies wherever there is a need, with the elderly, churches and schools being prioritised.

Any community in need of assistance can find details of how to contact AMYA at www.muslimsforhumanity.org.uk whilst donations towards the ongoing AMYA UK flood relief efforts can be made by visiting www.justgiving.com/flood-relief2014 or by texting AMYA56 £5 to 70070 (texts will automatically donate £5).

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