Fire Service plea to not ignore road closure signs

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service received just under 100 flooding-related calls within 14 hours.

Over the last two days, between 5pm and midnight, the Fire Control team received calls for rescues from stranded vehicles and properties where flooding posed a risk to life and for advice around rising water levels near people’s homes.

Shrewsbury Station Manager, Craig Jackson supported the coordination of the responses and said: “We have been busy during the night helping people in stranded vehicles, evacuating people from Coton Manor and our Cleobury Mortimer on-call crew were also helping Hereford & Worcester with rescues across the border - all whilst operating within the current COVID-19 safety precautions.

“People don’t realise how easy it is to get into a situation where their life is at risk with flooding.

“Many of these rescues were avoidable and given the COVID-19 situation we’re working hard to protect our crews, so they remain available for critical situations and playing our part to limit the spread of infection too.

“We’re asking people to not drive into flood water even if they are in a 4x4 or van and not ignore road closure signs. Many of our rescues last night were from people who said they thought they would be ‘okay’ and that they ‘knew the roads’.

“Flooding is so unpredictable and weather warnings are still in place with colder conditions expected to continue through the next few days.

“The water is predicted to move through the county today towards the Ironbridge area so we’re working with partners such as the Environment Agency and Local Councils to support where we can.”

The Service has been using equipment such as a rescue path – an inflatable platform that offers a safe and stable walkway across water – along with the boat crew to perform rescues.

Mr Jackson added: “The view from your window this morning won’t reflect the conditions on the roads so please check for road closures before you travel and consider if your journey is essential.”

22nd January, 2021