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CORNISH COUNCILS SHOULDER BURDEN OF BOSCASTLE FLOOD EVACUEES

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Emergency services in Boscastle will concentrate today on searching the ...
Emergency services in Boscastle will concentrate today on searching the

village and locating cars that were swept into the harbour, BBC Radio

Four's Today programme reported this morning.

Chief superintendant Dave Ellis, in charge of the operations in Boscastle,

told the programme that there were no reports of any deaths or serious

injuries. But methodical checks had to be carried out to ensure that no one

was trapped or lost.

It would take some days for the village to be made safe and for people to be

able to move back into their homes, he said. 'It's an issue now for the

local authority, North Cornwall DC and the county council [Cornwall CC], who

take responsibility for the safety and well being of those people that we've

had to evacuate.'

* FLOOD WARNINGS REMAIN IN FORCE FOR NORTH CORNWALL

Statement from Cornwall CC follows:

More than 150 staff from Cornwall CC's fire brigade, highways and emergency planning departments worked through the night as part of the major rescue operation at Boscastle.

Staff from the emergency planning department initially assisted the emergency services in rescuing people trapped by the floods. With deputy emergency planning officer John James co-ordinating the operation at County Hall in Truro, emergency planning officer Richard Federowicz was involved in finding temporary accommodation for the people rescued from the scene, initially on the outskirts of the village, and then at the rest centre at Camelford Leisure Centre. The rest centre is being managed by the WRVS under a pre-planned contingency contract put in place by the county council. There are currently 50 people at the rest centre.

Emergency planning staff are now continuing liaison with the emergency services and other organisations, including the police and North Cornwall DC, in the on going search and rescue operation. Once this phase has been concluded the local authorities will take the lead in the clean up operation.

17 appliances and auxiliary vehicles, and more than 100 personnel from the fire service in Cornwall and the Devon Fire and Rescue Service, including specialist vehicles able to go into deep water, were at the scene yesterday evening. Fire control staff at Cornwall County Fire Brigade took more than 100 calls in the afternoon, rising to 170 calls in the early evening, from people trapped in buildings, cars and in trees.

At one stage fire control were passing on the names and phone numbers of trapped people to fire fighters in headquarters who then gave them advice on how to get to a place of safety.

Nine appliances were on the scene from 5am this morning when the search and rescue operations began again.

Cormac staff also spent the night working on the A39 and surrounding roads. More than 30 highways staff under the supervision of Paul Allen, the divisional surveyor for North Cornwall, were involved in setting up diversions, placing flood boards and clearing drains to keep the road network safe.

Many of the roads have been re-opened, including the A39 at Helebridge and The Strand, in Bude, although Boscastle is currently closed to all except emergency services. The Coast footpath is also closed, although diversion routes will be put in place later today. Teams of Cormac staff are currently patrolling the area to identify problem areas.

The roads currently closed include the B3266 from Camelford Station to Boscastle; the B3263 from Collamoor Head to Boscastle ( off the A39); the B road from Tintagel to Bossiney. The road into Crackington Haven and the bridge is also closed.

Cornwall Highways will now be setting up the Flood Response Plan Forum in conjunction with North Cornwall DC.

Cornwall CC leader John Lobb said: 'This is a major incident which has caused widespread devastation in North Cornwall.

'I would like to pay tribute to the incredible efforts of all the emergency services who have worked though the night to rescue people trapped in buildings and cars. I would particularly like to thank the county council staff, including the fire brigade, emergency planning department and highways, and the staff from North Cornwall DC.

'At the moment all our efforts are concentrated on the search and rescue operation but I would like to reassure the residents of North Cornwall that the county council will provide whatever help and support it can in the days, weeks and months ahead.'

The emergency planning department is co-ordinating offers of specialist relevant equipment. Please fax details of any help to 01872 223141.

* Update from North Cornwall DC here

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