Firefighters come to aid of residents affected by flooding

Firefighters use a rescue sled pulling a woman to safetyFirefighters had a busy evening helping residents affected by flooding.

About 40 firefighters spent hours wading through flood water in Alconbury and Alconbury Weston yesterday afternoon and evening (March 9) after dozens of homes were flooded and residents stranded.

The fire service was called at 5.03pm to reports of vulnerable residents stuck in their homes in High Street, Alconbury Weston, owing to flood water. As more calls came in, five fire engines, two rescue vehicles, a command unit and fire officers were sent to the area.

A number of properties were affected by flood water and fire crews focussed their efforts on assisting those residents who were vulnerable or elderly. Firefighters donned in in-water suits used boats and rescue sleds to knock on the doors of residents, check they were okay and provide assistance to those who needed it. Some people chose to remain in their properties.

Firefighters also used rescue sleds to help carers reach residents who required medical assistance, which enabled them to ensure medicine was administered and those most vulnerable in the community were cared for. 

Station Commander Bruce Parcell said: “Fire crews worked tirelessly alongside members of the community to ensure these residents were looked after. The efforts of the firefighters and helpers really were tremendous in hard, cold conditions and we must thank everyone who contributed, particularly the landlords of The White Hart public house in Alconbury Weston, who opened up their doors and operated as a community hub during these floods. 

“We must also commend the great partnership working between the emergency services, the council and National Grid, which was able to re-direct electricity so we could keep the power on despite the flooding.”

Fire officers worked with the local authority and partner agencies to request a rest centre was set up in Huntingdon for those who needed to leave their homes.

In total, about 12 people were given assistance by the fire service to leave their homes, and seven dogs and two cats were rescued. Crews also gave reassurance to dozens of other residents. 

The affected roads where crews worked were: High Street, Brookside, Lords Way, Hammerton Road and Rusts Lane.

Crews finally returned to their stations by 11.10pm.

Between 7am and 9pm yesterday (March 9) Combined Fire Control received 15 999 calls about flooding that were not attended by fire crews as there was no immediate risk to life. At least five of these calls were to cars in flood water. 

SC Parcell added: “We would like to remind residents to only call 999 in a flooding situation if there is an immediate risk to life. If you drive through flood water and get stuck, we will not tow your car out.”