Wythall Floods: Emergency Advice Forum

Wythall Conservative Councillors Adam Kent and Geoff Denaro are inviting residents to an emergency advice forum on Friday 15th June between 5pm and 7pm in the aftermath of the recent devastating flash floods. The floods hit on Sunday 27th May affecting close to 300 homes.

The damage caused will run into many millions with the average insurance flood claim in the UK exceeding £20,000. This coupled with written off vehicles, infrastructure damage and emergency measures will see the eventual total cost potentially hit £10m.

During and immediately after the floods hit, County Councillor Adam Kent and Leader of the District Council Geoff Denaro along with Tony Miller the Cabinet Member for the Environment from Worcestershire County Council took to the streets of Wythall to knock doors and check on residents, assisted by the district and county council emergency teams.

Some vulnerable residents, particularly the elderly, were unable to access the bottom floor of their homes, needed immediate help and evacuation from the social care teams. Others, in particular families, needed long-term help and advice.

An emergency presence was set up at Wythall Community Hub and Cllr Kent put out a call for all those affected by the floods to make themselves known to agencies so help could be provided: the number has continued to rise. An emergency central help line was setup which is still running, affected residents can continue to call using 01905 845676.

Now, the next challenge is tackling the long-term effects of the flood. The severely affected homes may be looking at months of dehumidifiers to render them habitable again. Residents are facing a long process with insurance companies and loss adjustors. Sajid Javid MP has assisted with those in difficulty with insurance claims. Wythall residents affected can email The Association of British Insurers helpline direct on laura.hughes@abi.org.uk for support.

North Worcestershire Water Management have set up a dedicated dropbox to collate all images and videos of the flooding to ensure that we can learn from the events and forward plan. The link can be found through Cllr Adam Kent’s Facebook page.

County Councillor Adam Kent and Leader of Bromsgrove District Council Geoff Denaro are now organising a help forum for residents, to take place on Friday 15th June from 5pm-7pm at the Park Hall at Wythall Community Association. The team are organising multiple agencies to attend the meeting and offer advice: tea, coffee and cake will be provided.

Cllr Geoff Denaro said: "We are doing everything we can to help residents. It has been a shocking two weeks and the effects of the flooding are going to be long-term. But if residents need help, advice, or just a chat to a flooding or casework professional and a cup of tea, we will provide this. Printed and promoted by Frances Lasok on behalf of Bromsgrove Conservatives, all of 18 High Street, Bromsgrove, B61 8HQ. "We've been out since the start and I would like to thank the emergency teams from the District and County council who have done sterling work. Residents have passed on their thanks to me and I would like to make sure this thanks get to them."

Cllr Adam Kent said: "We are talking about close to 200 families who have experienced an extremely traumatic incident and may have had to leave their home for temporary accommodation. I would like to encourage anyone who needs help to make themselves known to us. This is a stressful experience that may also affect mental health and if you do feel that you are finding it overwhelming please don't delay getting in touch with the support team. We will offer assistance for as long as it is needed."

The emergency advice forum will take place on:

Date: Friday 15th June 2018 Time: 5pm-7pm (doors open 4.30pm for 5pm welcome)

Location: Britannia Room, Wythall Community Association, 52 Silver Street, Wythall, B47 6LZ

If you need help but cannot make the forum, you can contact Cllr Kent or Cllr Denaro at any time at: akent@worcestershire.gov.uk or via his Facebook page www.facebook.com/Adam4Wythall; g.denaro@bromsgrove.gov.uk or 07415731724.

FURTHER INFORMATION: According to Severn Trent Water, the rainfall on Sunday night - over 3 inches in 2 hours – was a once in 2,000 year event. Floodwaters were reported up to five foot deep leaving cars and homes submerged. Approximately 150 homes have been reported flooded out, with a total of 276 affected: that number is expected to rise. Woodrush High School was also affected but thanks to an emergency response from the Regulatory Services team, was able to open again as normal after half-term.