GLOUCESTERSHIRE is welcoming the arrival of the military to support local flood resilience efforts.
Up to 100 troops from Wiltshire-based 3rd (UK) Division under the command of 43 (Wessex) Brigade are being sent from the Tidworth area to help residents who may have been affected locally.
They will be used on the ground as back-up to the county’s own robust flood resilience work, helping fill and place sandbags in local communities and assisting in clearing roads of broken branches and debris created by strong winds.
Although the county has not been hit as hard by the bad weather as some neighbouring counties such as Worcestershire, a number of communities have been flooded and county authorities have been working hard to protect local people.
Gloucestershire Highways has been keeping a close eye on the county’s roads, temporarily closing major routes when necessary and keeping traffic moving around the network.
And Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service and Gloucestershire Police are providing a coordinated emergency response with partner agencies.
Speaking on behalf of the county authorities, Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: “We appreciate the support we're getting from the Government.
"These soldiers will be a helpful addition to the firefighters, council workers, Environment Agency staff and volunteer flood wardens who are working hard to protect homes and businesses in flood affected areas. Their hard work is making a real difference."
Meanwhile, the county’s district and borough councils are ready to stand up rest centres if required and working with local health services to ensure vulnerable people are safe.
The Gloucestershire Village and Community Agents are continuing to help older people across the county, making sure the most vulnerable are safe and well. The agents will be working closely with local partners and organisations in their communities.