Skanska’s highways teams have been on high alert during the recent flooding and extreme weather. Staff from Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Cambridgeshire, Somerset and the Highways Agency’s Area 2 contract in the South West have been dealing with a number of major incidents.
Skanska has worked with clients and the emergency services to respond to the devastation caused. In some badly affected areas, we have worked with clients in the 24/7 Police-led emergency control centres.
Skanska’s Somerset Highways team has played a vital role in dealing with the floods. It operated three all-terrain amphibious vehicles brought in to deal with the crisis. Five villages would be cut off without them. The use of amphibious vehicles has been praised by residents because of the vital support – such as delivering supplies and evacuating sick people – they provided.
The Environment Agency has now started a major pumping exercise across the Somerset levels, involving 14 mega-pumps from Holland. The operation is expected to last for many weeks until all the water is pumped away. This will be followed by an extensive clean-up and repairs.
Skanska played a key role in producing sandbags – at the rate of 4,500 a day – at two local plants for the worst hit areas. 65 operatives from various contracts were conscripted into a “sandbag army” to help out in Somerset. This was supported by a complex delivery process using Skanska lorries.
The Skanska teams have been busy keeping road networks safe and moving by clearing trees due to high winds. In Cambridgeshire the team had to deal with a huge number of incidents related to high winds, which included nearly 100 trees coming down and buildings collapsing.
Everyone involved has had to act very quickly in response to changing extreme weather conditions. This has included putting in emergency road closures, helping the emergency services, and working with utilities companies restoring power to homes.