CAMBRIDGESHIRE: Weather warning

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HEAVY downpours of rain are being forecast for the end of the weekend in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area.

Although today and tonight is expect to be dry, further heavy rain is expected over Saturday night and in spells through to Tuesday, with the unsettled weather continuing until next weekend.

A flood warning is in place for the North Bank Road, alongside the River Nene east of Peterborough, and west of Dog-in-Doublet Sluice.

For residents to get the help they need in the quickest time, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service is issuing advice to residents about the role of the fire and rescue service during events of flooding.

All calls related to flooding are dealt with on an individual basis depending on the caller’s circumstances and vulnerability.

Flood related calls, where there is no immediate threat to a person’s life, are prioritised and an officer is sent rather than a fire crew to assess the situation. If they feel a fire crew is needed or can be of assistance, they will call for one to be sent. As calls are prioritised, the officer may not attend straight away.

Chris Strickland, Deputy Chief Fire Officer for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “What many people don’t realise is that there has to be a certain level of water - generally around six inches - before we can use our pumping equipment effectively, and even then there has to be somewhere for us to pump the water to that won’t have an adverse knock on effect to someone else’s property.

“We want to ensure residents get the help they need in the quickest time, which is why we want to help people contact the correct agency in the first place. We also want to ensure that we can deal with emergency calls where life is at risk in the quickest time, and people ringing 999 for sandbags can delay us.

“As well as being aware of what to do if your home is affected by flooding, it is important to stay safe on the roads. Driving through floodwater can be extremely dangerous as it is impossible to see how deep the water is or whether there are hazards under the water, which could damage your car and leave you stranded.”

For up to date flood watch information, log on to the Environment Agency website www.environment-agency.gov.uk