VolkerHighways joined by Armed Forces during emergency flood measures

During the floods that hit the UK early February, VolkerHighways' depot in West Berkshire was the headquarters for a major emergency response led by the Army. The Armed Forces, the Environment Agency (EA), the Police, VolkerHighways and subcontractors, as well as the Direct Labour Organisation (DLO), all combined efforts to coordinate and act to mitigate the flood damage to the local communities of West Berkshire.

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VolkerHighways joined by Armed Forces at Chievely Depot, West Berkshire

The VolkerHighways depot in Chieveley was used as the base for coordinating a ‘Gold Command', a top level activation of resources to deal with an emergency; in this case top level coordinators of the Gold Command included the Army, Navy, RAF, the Police and the Environment Agency (EA). During a period of nine days, there were up to 200 members of the Armed Forces at the depot. They managed to fill and deliver a total of 45,000 sand bags to areas most at risk.

VolkerHighways' direct workforce, along with its supply chain, filled and delivered 12,500 sandbags, attended to emergency calls and pumped water away from built-up areas to protect properties and businesses within the Highways Term Maintenance Contract (HTMC) area. The DLO went above and beyond working through the night during two sessions filling sand bags.

VolkerHighways cleared a total of 90 trees, and had a tree surgeon on call 24/7. In addition, VolkerHighways subcontractor EEG provided three tankers for gully cleansing and jetting, specifically to unblock drains during this critical time.

For the duration of the flood, VolkerHighways supervisors were on call coordinating the required actions for the hundreds of emergency calls received from both the VolkerHighways call centre and the West Berkshire emergency operations centre.

Tesco showed its support by donating and supplying food for all those helping to fill and deliver sandbags. This included four pallets of sandwiches amongst other items of food and drink.

Rt Hon Mark Francois MP, Minister of State for the Armed Forces, also visited the site to show his support to all parties involved.

Melvyn May, West Berkshire Council service manager, said: "All those involved in the flood response were fully committed during the two and a half week emergency period. It was a pleasure to see everybody working together as one team."

Daemon Morris, VolkerHighways project manager, added: "Everyone went the extra mile during this period of high risk. It makes me proud to have this great group of people as my team."