Crews respond to over 100 calls as storm grips Bucks

12:15pm Tuesday 24th December 2013

By Andy Carswell

EMERGENCY crews have been praised for their efforts in battling around the clock to keep the county's roads open despite more than 100 call-outs.

High winds brought trees down onto roads and heavy rain caused flooding around Bucks as a storm caused disruption.

By 6.20am today Transport for Bucks had received 71 reports of fallen trees and 12 instances of flooding, with a further 61 calls being made in the next two hours.

Janet Blake, Buckinghamshire County Council Cabinet Member for Planning and Transport, said: "Our crews have done a brilliant job in responding to so many calls in very difficult circumstances, and they have my heartfelt thanks. The way they were able to respond so quickly and effectively showed how well-prepared they were."

Teams in Beaconsfield responded to three fallen trees, one broken branch and one report of flooding, while crews in High Wycombe tackled three fallen trees and one instance of flooding.

In Marlow three trees were dealt with and in Little Marlow there was one report of flooding. All of the problems have been resolved.

But a tree which has fallen across the width of the River Thames downstream from Marlow lock has blocked the usually busy waterway and the Environment Agency has warned nobody should be on the water today.

Spokesman Jo Slimin said: "We are aware that there is a tree across the river near Marlow lock but at the moment the conditions are not suitable for our teams go retrieve it.

"As soon as the conditions improve we will go into the river and remove it."

She said the flow of the river was not affected, but that it would hinder navigation.

A large tree fell across the A40 between Loudwater and Holtspur, completely blocking the road to traffic.

Wooburn Moor resident Paul Greenhalgh, who took the above picture, said it was miraculous no vehicles were passing when it came down.

Mr Greenhalgh, who witnessed the tree fall while out for a walk, said: "It's a relatively busy road - how it just happened to catch a moment when nothing was there, I'll never know. Within a couple of minutes six or seven cars started coming up the hill."

A total of eight council teams were involved in the emergency clear-up, with specialist tree contractors Salcey provided three crews to help clear fallen trees requiring special equipment to remove.

Storm force winds also led to delays to rail services through Bucks as train drivers were told to run at half their usual speed.

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