Cambridgeshire firefighters called out more than 300 times over rain-hit weekend

A family in March pump water from their flooded home. Picture: Steve Williams. A family in March pump water from their flooded home. Picture: Steve Williams.

Monday, August 11, 2014
3:16 PM

Firefighters in Cambridgeshire dealt with more than 300 emergency calls over the weekend.

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Some 277 of them were between Friday lunchtime and 8.30am on Saturday.

Control staff were inundated with calls from residents whose properties and businesses were flooded.

Calls had to be priortitised, with fire engines deployed to pump water from those properties and areas where there was a risk to life.

March was the worst hit area, with crews from the town’s on-call fire station continuously working to pump water for 13 hours from 2pm on Friday. The next morning they were back out at 10am until 8pm.

It is estimated that crews pumped more than 11.5m litres of water from properties and infrastructure in the March area alone.

Watch commander Andy Powell, who lives in the town, said: “Friday really was quite devastating. It was hard seeing your own community in such despair.

“We wanted to pump water from everybody’s houses but because of the amount of incidents, we just couldn’t physically do it. We just pumped as much as we could.

“There was water everywhere so we also had to try and figure out where we could pump it to. Some houses we couldn’t help because there was just nowhere for it to go, so we had to start pumping the ditches and roads so we would then have somewhere for the water from the properties to drain to.

“It was also a tough time for some of the firefighters as not only were their friends and families affected, but while they were out serving their community, their own properties were being flooded.

“People were really grateful and thankful of what we were doing. It was hard seeing how trashed some of the properties were getting from the water and sewage and I think this is going to have a lasting effect on the community.

“We’re just doing our job job but if people would like to show their thanks, it would be great if they could come along and support our charity car wash on Saturday, which is taking place at March Tesco.”

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