Flooding leads to busy night for Hertfordshire’s Fire and Rescue Service

Flooding in Welham Green PICTURE: Danny Arnold

Flooding in Welham Green PICTURE: Danny Arnold - Credit: Archant

Hertfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service was inundated with calls about flooding during last night’s heavy rainfall.

The Fire and Rescue Service dealt with an incredible 248 emergency calls about flooding last night.

From 5.40pm, as a weather front moved northeast across Hertfordshire, starting in Watford then moving to cover Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City, emergency fire control operators were deluged with calls from residents affected by localised flash flooding.

At one point so many calls were coming in that an emergency overflow system was put in place, with some emergency calls being answered by Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service under a regional ‘buddy’ system.

Hertfordshire’s controllers returned the favour later, answering calls on behalf of Norfolk once the storm had moved over their county.

Hertfordshire’s highways teams were also called to 165 reports of flooding on the county’s roads and pavements as the sheer amount of water falling overwhelmed drainage systems. Twenty-nine of these had to be dealt with as emergencies with the county council’s highways contractor Ringway sending out teams to deal with the flooding.

Richard Thake, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “Our emergency teams coped extremely well with this sudden downpour and the huge surge in calls and I want to thank them for their professionalism under difficult circumstances.

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“I was particularly impressed that, far from being overwhelmed, they were able to maintain emergency cover across the county while dealing with the flash floods as well as dealing with other incidents such as lightning strikes and road traffic collisions.

“I think this shows that we have some really capable people working in our emergency services and are well prepared for any eventuality the weather might bring.”