Military joins flood relief meeting at pop-up Marlow comms centre

Bucks Free Press: Military joins flood relief meeting at pop-up flood comms centre Military joins flood relief meeting at pop-up flood comms centre

MILITARY officers joined a meeting of agencies involved in the Marlow flood relief effort this morning, as more heavy rain forecast for the next couple of days.

The joint service co-ordination centre in the Court Garden car park outside Marlow Town Council’s offices is playing host to a number of agencies working to protect residents from the deluge.

RAF squadron leader Liam Mitchell joined representatives from Thames Valley Police, Bucks Fire and Rescue, Wycombe District Council, Marlow Town Council and Transport for Buckinghamshire.

The meeting inside the Command Unit Vehicle sought to give each agency a chance to co-ordinate, feed information to one another and agree priorities over the coming days.

Wycombe District Council has reportedly agreed to send an environmental health officer to the town this weekend to monitor the quality of the water affecting people’s homes.

There are fears over overflowing sewers and cesspits polluting the floodwater and proving a health risk, with flood-hit Garnet Court resident Jeremy Chinn saying the water in the street had begun to “really smell”.

A housing officer could also be deployed to Marlow this weekend to assess the damage and act if needed.

Police have vowed to step up patrols to reassure residents and to protect properties evacuated due to flooding.

Sgt Kevin Read said: “Our role locally at the moment is one primarily of reassurance patrols in the affected areas.

“This comprises of contacting vulnerable persons and advising or referring them accordingly and also keeping an eye on vulnerable or vacant premises.

“We are working closely with all the agencies involved and assisting wherever asked.”

Troops are currently using Bisham School as a base for their work along the river, and are helping residents secure their properites should the flooding get worse.

Volunteers from Plymouth Brethren Christian Church have been supplying food and drink to firefighters, volunteers and other agencies using the communications centre.

Businesses have also offered their help, including High Street delicatessen Gather and Hunt.

And Marlow’s double Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge even came to the rescue by bringing soup from his award-winning Hand and Flowers restaurant on Tuesday.

Firefighters have confirmed they will remain in Marlow at least until the middle of next week.

Crews’ round-the-clock pumping operations are thought to have saved around 150 homes from imminent disaster since the weekend.

The Court Garden incident centre is also acting as a sandbag station, with Bucks County Council teams stockpiling the flood defences there for residents to collect.

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