Emergency teams in action across northern England as storms batter Britain

Publicado: 30 diciembre 2015 15:57 CET

By Nichola Jones, IFRC

The British Red Cross has deployed 100 volunteers across northern England after severe floods swept across the region.

Several major storms have hit the UK in the last four weeks, leaving thousands of homes flooded and families forced to evacuate.

In Yorkshire, volunteers helped evacuate residents at a reception centre in Hebden Bridge. They provided essentials such as food and sandbags as well as supporting elderly and vulnerable people in the area that has been left without electricity. They have also been working across some of the worst-affected areas of Cumbria, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside in the north and northwest of the country.

British Red Cross chief executive, Mike Adamson, who visited flood-hit Lancashire yesterday (29 Dec), said: “Our volunteers have been responding to everything from a train with 200 passengers stranded because of a power cut, to running rest centres for evacuees and visiting vulnerable people in their homes left without electricity.

“One 98-year-old man living alone had been left without power and a hot meal for several days. Two of our volunteers found he was without light, heat or his medication.

“They went and bought food, torches, cooked him a meal and stayed with him to make sure he was okay.”

Red Cross teams have also been responding in Wales and Scotland where they have been transporting medics and patients to local hospitals cut off to all but 4x4 vehicles after roads were submerged.

As floodwaters continue to rise and threaten to cut off more power supplies and roads, the Red Cross is gearing up to step in and support worst-hit communities.

Simon Lewis, head of UK emergency response at the British Red Cross, said: "We've been working with local councils and emergency services to make sure we're ready to help the communities affected by flooding.

"More Red Cross staff and volunteers are on standby to help as needed throughout the coming days."