03/12/2021 - Permalink

Praise for council staff and volunteers for clearing roads following Storm Arwen

Related topics: Corporate / Highways, transport and environmental maintenance / Partner organisations

Shropshire Council’s staff, partners and local volunteers have been praised for working around the clock to keep the county’s roads open and accessible in the aftermath of Storm Arwen.

From last Friday night the council’s highways service received more than 380 requests for help, including over 190 phone calls – of which 171 were reports of fallen trees blocking roads.

As well as requests from members of the public, the police and fire service also asked for support from the council in response to power outages and fallen trees – and the subsequent disruption caused.

The council’s highways team worked throughout the weekend and into this week to clear fallen trees – supported by a team of farmers and other volunteers.

Mark Barrow, Shropshire Council’s executive director of place, said:

“The effects of Storm Arwen were felt right across the county. Sadly some people and areas were affected more than others, and I know many are still without power or repairing damage caused to properties.

“I want to say a big thank you to our highways team and to the farmers and other volunteers who all helped to clear trees and ensure that our roads, villages and towns were accessible.

“Between Friday and Tuesday our highways team had almost 400 reports of storm damage or requests for help. The majority related to fallen trees on roads. The team were very stretched, and I know they didn’t get much sleep on Friday night.

“Some of the affected roads were just outside Shropshire in Powys so we also worked with colleagues at Powys County Council to ensure that the roads over the border were also maintained.

“And on Sunday the situation was exacerbated with disruption to water supplies in north Shropshire as power was being restored. Up to 6,000 homes were affected, with almost 200 vulnerable people needing assistance and bottled water.

“We ensured that the roads were gritted in key areas so that Severn Trent’s tankers could add water into the mains water supplies and reservoirs to restore supply as quickly as possible.

“Storm Arwen clearly had a big impact but the hard work of a great deal of people, and collaboration with our external partners and utility companies ensured that roads were quickly reopened, and vulnerable people supported. So, thank you again to all involved.”