ARMY troops continue to support local flood resilience efforts in Gloucestershire ahead of the weekend.

The troops from Wiltshire-based 3rd (UK) Division under the command of 43 (Wessex) Brigade will be at Imjin Barracks in Innsworth to pack 20,000 sandbags for distribution to affected residents in Tewkesbury.

A delivery of 250 tonne of sand and 20,000 empty sandbags arrived at the Gloucestershire camp this morning which will be packed in prepared into sandbags by 160 soldiers.

Later today the soldiers will assist in Tewkesbury out on the ground placing the sandbags to protect the local community from the rising river levels.

Gloucestershire Highways continues to keep a close eye on the county’s roads 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 they would continue to work together to support communities in flood affected areas.

"Our teams are out all over the county responding to any emergency calls we get and clearing away free standing water where necessary," he said.

"We welcome the extra back up we’re receiving from the military. Please take extra care on the roads as the wind picks up overnight.

"Gloucestershire Highways are ready to any clear any fallen trees if necessary.”

Meanwhile, the county’s district and borough councils remain ready to set up rest centres if required. They are also working with local health services to ensure vulnerable people are safe.

The Gloucestershire Village and Community Agents are providing ongoing support to 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.

Cllr Jim Mason, Lead Member for Clean and Green Environment at Tewkesbury Borough Council, said: “We are working hard to ensure our communities across the borough are provided with the support and free, filled sandbags that they need.

"The back-up provided from the military is very much welcomed and will continue working over the weekend and into next week to continue the support to our communities.” Major Robin Davies, Officer Commanding HQ Company to Royal Welsh said: “I am here with 80 soldiers from HQ Company filling sandbags in support of the local flood resilience effort in Gloucestershire.

"It’s a real pleasure to be able to lend our support to the home towns and counties that have backed our troops out in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"We already have 1000 sand bags ready to go and we will be working with the local authority to make sure they get to where they need to be as soon as possible.”


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