Manager of flooded Gladelands Park praises emergency services for mass evacuation

DELUGE: Gladelands Park

DELUGE: Gladelands Park

First published in

THE manager of flood-hit Gladelands Park has praised the services which came to the aid of residents on Christmas Eve.

More than 100 people were evacuated from the Ferndown site last month as flood waters rose.

Although most are now back in their homes, others face a longer wait as their properties were so badly damaged by the water.

Residents have not been told what caused the surge of water, and an Environment Agency spokesperson has now admitted that officials are still unsure.

Site manager Lorraine Rippin said: “At the moment, there hasn’t been a need to evacuate again, although water levels have risen in one section of the park. We’ve been keeping up with the weather forecasts and many have got their bags packed just in case, but that will be the same as lots of other people who could be affected.”

Many of those who live in Gladelands were evacuated from the site on a rubber dinghy as cars “floated” in three feet of water.

The Barrington Centre opened its doors to those made temporarily homeless by the floods before they were taken to the Bridge House Hotel for Christmas Day.

Lorraine said: “I can’t speculate on what caused the flooding, as we haven’t been told.

“But I would like to say how amazing all the emergency services were that day. It was so well organised – we couldn’t have asked for more.”

A spokesperson from the Environment Agency said: “The cause of the flooding is still being investigated, although we suspect it was caused by a combination of things.

“At the moment, we believe it could have been caused by a culvert or drain blockage together with extensive floodwater.”

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