5PM: Emergency room opened at council as Huntingdonshire braces itself for potential floods

AN emergency room has been opened at Huntingdonshire District Council to deal with potential floods as warnings continue to be put in place across the district.

Executive leader Jason Ablewhite said he wanted to reassure members of the public in areas at a high risk of flooding that the council was monitoring the situation and working closely with the Environment Agency.

HDC has gone to “silver command” to deal with incidents should they arise and said it would keep its emergency room open over the festive period, including on Christmas Day if necessary.

If it came to it, Councillor Ablewhite said the local authority was even ready to set up respite centres should people need to be evacuated from their homes over Christmas.

“We are well prepared and we are seen as an exemplary council for dealing with emergencies,” he said.

“We have previously sent officers to help in Norfolk when they have experienced floods, so we know how to deal with these situations.

“At the very least, people will be able to see that we will be trying to do something to help.”

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Flood warnings are currently in place in Hamerton, Upton, Alconbury, Alconbury Weston, Ellington, King’s Ripton, Broughton, Wistow, Bury, Ramsey, Tilbrook, Kimbolton, Stonely and Great Staughton.

Lower level flood alerts are in place along parts of the River Great Ouse, including Brampton, parts of Hartford and Godmanchester, Fenstanton and Fen Drayton, the Hemingfords, Huntingdon, St Ives, Houghton and Wyton and Earith.

The high risk areas are particularly along Alconbury and Bury brooks, and the Environment Agency has warned that the B645, between Tilbrook and Stonely, is likely to flood.

“Due to saturated ground conditions and the overnight rainfall, levels in the Alconbury Brook have been rising and have now reached the flood warning trigger level,” a spokesman for the agency said earlier.

“We would advise residents in the area with property level protection measures to implement them.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as necessary.”

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service said there had been 20mm of rain over Cambridgeshire between midnight and noon today.

The spokesman added that between eight and 15mm of rain is expected to fall throughout today until midnight, with a maximum of 2mm predicted for tomorrow (Friday, December 21).

Rick Hylton, area commander for the fire service, urged motorists 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,” he said.