Marlow MP: Army troops possible if floods worsen

The pumping operation at Garnet Court is continuing, with a super high volume pump brought in to help the bail-out

The pumping operation at Garnet Court is continuing, with a super high volume pump brought in to help the bail-out

First published in News
Last updated
by , Reporter

MARLOW MP Dominic Grieve has said there is a chance the army could be called in to help flood victims in the Marlow area if the situation worsens.

Mr Grieve cleared his schedule to come to Marlow this afternoon to see first hand the work of the fire service and assess the damage caused following the wettest January on record, with more rain on the way. 

He was taken to meet residents on Pound Lane, Garnet Court and St Peter Street where 24-hour pumping operations are underway.

And the Conservative MP said although the situation seems under control for now, a team of troops have been put on alert by the MoD for possible deployment to the area.

He told the BFP: “What we’ve got to hope is that the river doesn’t rise higher over the next 48 hours otherwise there will be more properties that will go underwater.

“We can only wait, we don’t control mother nature and so we’ll have to wait and see. The fire brigade are doing a fantastic job, there’s been lots of volunteering and lots of people helping.

"I came down to see if there was anything I could do to help the town council, the district council and the county.

"Luckily everything seems to be in hand but if anyone has any concerns or queries, particularly afterwards, during the clear-up If I can help in any way please get in touch.

“There are potentially 1600 troops available for this stretch of the Thames Valley by the secretary of state for defence, at the moment they’re not being used, but they could be.

“But we also have to accept that if it gets much higher, we can’t stop it happening and there’s only so much that pumping can do.”

Marlow currently has a flood warning issued by the Environment Agency, and there are currently 16 ‘severe’ flood warnings in place for the Thames Valley stretch of river including Berkshire and Surrey.

So far, defence secretary Phillip Hammond has not taken the decision to deploy the troops along the river.

He was berated on television news earlier by flood volunteers in Wraysbury, Berkshire foir not doing more to help.

Meanwhile, Bucks Fire and Rescue's deputy chief fire officer Jason Thelwell paid tribute to his teams on the ground.

Around 30 firefighters are currently on duty at any one time in the Marlow areas helping residents pump water away from homes.

And he said that despite some services having been deployed to help flood victims in Somerset, his crews were coping well.

He said: “They are doing a fantastic job, we are a small service and we have already deployed some services to Somerset.

“But when called upon, they always rise to the challenge and we’re really proud of them all.”

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