Bury St Edmunds firefighters rush to aid of flood stricken Somerset villagers

Bury St Edmunds firefighters have been helping flood stricken communities in Somerset
Bury St Edmunds firefighters have been helping flood stricken communities in Somerset
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Bury St Edmunds firefighters rode to the rescue of villagers in Somerset who have been left stranded by the devastating floods which have swept through their communities.

The team, who are based in Bury, have been assisting Somerset Fire and Rescue by ferrying people to and from their homes in the deluged villages of Muchelney and Thorney using a Unimog 4x4 vehicle.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service's Unimog

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service's Unimog

Pat Dacey, district commander for the West, says the communities have been transformed into virtual islands and need help transporting people, goods and supplies.

They have helped with the school run, taken residents to their cars which have been left on higher ground and even rushed a dog to the vets.

Mr Dacey said: “This is the most serious case of flooding I’ve seen.

“We’ve got these two villages which appear to be on islands - it’s a really surreal experience because they’re surrounded by 25 square miles of water.”

Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue is also using a Unimog to help residents.

Mr Dacey explained: “At the moment it’s the only means of assistance in getting them in and out.

“The villages are on higher ground than the road.

“During the day when water levels are okay there’s a 4x4 volunteer group.

“They can do a lot of day light work but the issue is at night. We’re running all the hours of darkness and stop at about 1am.”

The Suffolk Fire and Rescue crew was deployed last Thursday and will remain in Somerset until Saturday with the possibility of staying longer.

Mr Dacey praised the resilience and community spirit of the villagers - some of whom have been dealing with the floods since late December.