Ex-military volunteers from disaster response charity, Team Rubicon UK, have arrived from around the UK to help the people of Birmingham whose homes have been badly flooded over the weekend.
Using their military skills and experiences they have been prioritising the elderly and vulnerable, retrieving loved and valuable items and clearing dirty flood water from homes of residents. Liaising with the environment agency and local authorities to help those most in need to ensure those whose houses have been devastated by the flash floods can return to their homes as soon as possible.
Team Rubicon use a military approach to create order in the chaos caused by disaster, deploying teams of highly skilled ex-military volunteers to provide life-saving aid to those who need it most.
Storms caused localised flash flooding across the region, as than a month’s rainfall fell in parts of Birmingham in just one hour on Sunday. The Met Office has issued yellow weather warnings and thunderstorms for much of Bank Holiday Monday.
Team Rubicon were first made aware of the floods on Sunday evening at 20:00, reaching out to the Local Resilience Forum to offer support. Volunteers arrived on scene from 9am this morning and quickly identified the worst affected area being Sir Johns Road in Selly Park area. Paul Taylor, Operations Response Manager, was one of the first on scene and immediately liaised with local council & Environment Agency who were in attendance.
Paul commented, “Request for our assistance was received from Birmingham City Council to assist residents with removal of sodden & soiled goods including carpets, flooring and water damaged furniture. Approximately 20 houses were affected by the flooding of which we have helped with five houses, with mostly elderly vulnerable residents.”
Volunteers drove to Birmingham from Penzance, Bristol, Hereford, Swindon and Warminster to offer support.
Local Councillor Brigid Jones of Bournbrook and Selly Park, commented, “It’s been a nightmare out here in Selly Park with so many people flooded out of their homes, but Team Rubicon have been fantastic in coming out and volunteering their help; to help people clear out and get back on their feet.
“Some of them have even driven up from Cornwall, all the way to Birmingham to help, so we can’t help them enough.”
Tragically, a man in his 80s died in Walsall, north of Birmingham, after his car was submerged in flooding.
Some roads in Birmingham are still affected by flooding and have advised drivers in the area not to ignore diversion and road closure signs. One major route was left impassable today after flood waters were up to 5ft deep.