Following a busy day responding to yesterday’s flooding I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on the efforts of the Council staff who co-ordinated the relief effort.
The level of rainfall Tameside and other nearby areas experienced on Monday evening was unprecedented. Following receiving the forecasts the gulley cleaning teams worked tirelessly to attend all of the drains in areas that were considered to be particularly at risk of flooding. Whilst the sheer volume of water that fell meant that this preventative action was ultimately not enough to completely avoid flooding, the position could have been much worse had this not been done. I think that I would speak for many in expressing deepest thanks to the staff involved who worked the extra hours to protect our residents.
Despite these efforts, Council staff unfortunately had to turn their attention to a relief effort to help households and residents who were most severely affected. Staff worked through the night with the emergency services and the environment agency to make structures safe, pump water away and minimise travel disruption. Again this silent army conducted themselves with the utmost professionalism and responded to residents’ needs with the sensitivity that was required given the distress many people were in. I offer my deepest thanks to them all and feel reassured that, should an emergency ever occur again in Tameside, we will all be in safe hands.
When events like this have taken place we always use the experience to learn how we could adapt our systems and working practices and this occasion will be no different. Whilst the response was an excellent example of partnership working between the Council, emergency services and even volunteers from the local community, we will review the events and our response carefully to see if there are any areas for improvement.
Whenever the next emergency comes we will be ready.