Partnership working helps EA become ‘winter ready’

TVO temp flood defences

Team Van Oord’s (TVO) efforts to help the Environment Agency (EA) to become ‘winter ready’ in the West Thames area have been described as an example of ‘fantastic partnership working’.

The flooding during the winter of 2013/14 highlighted a need for the EA to increase its operational response capacity during significant flood incidents.

Under new arrangements put in place in recent weeks, TVO is now lead supplier to provide ‘incident response resources’ to the EA operational teams in Wessex, Solent and South Downs and West Thames. In this new role TVO will be involved in the deployment of temporary flood barriers and other equipment before, during and after a flood incident.

TVO is also working on a project which, when complete, will see the EA much better positioned to deploy barriers across 28 sites in the West Thames area, if required.

The project, which is due to be complete by the end of January 2017, has seen TVO undertake works at the aforementioned sites in priority order, based on likelihood of flooding and the physical obstructions to barrier deployment.

Mark Casey, TVO Project Manager, said: “We are assisting the EA in defining the best alignments for the temporary barriers by ‘ground truthing’ and fine tuning work undertaken by flood risk consultants.

“Our work has included identifying, scoping, designing and constructing enabling works to allow the barriers to be deployed in order to provide protection to communities during flood events.

“The primary purpose of the project  is to ensure that the barriers can be deployed when required, by either removing obstructions or modifying them so that they are easily removable during deployment.

“The construction works we are undertaking across the 28 sites include vegetation clearance and tree removal, installation of gates in existing boundaries, modifications to fences and walls and  design and construction of  culverted watercourse crossings and water control structures.”

In order to carry out the works TVO has been working closely with numerous EA teams, partners and other stakeholders including Dalcour Mclaren (undertaking landownership searches, landowner liaison and agreements), numerous landowners, agents, farmers, local authorities, specialist sub-contractors and consultants.

Emma Hill, EA Area Programme Manager, said: “It really is great to see this, after so much hard work that you have all put in. On behalf of the (EA Project) Board, huge thanks for all of the work done to date to get us this far – fantastic partnership working across different organisations has been lovely to witness.”

In a separate initiative the British Army is being trained and is on standby to help the EA, TVO and other suppliers to deploy the temporary barriers.

Across the country, more than 1,200 troops have been put on 24-hour standby to help in the event of flooding this winter, with Wiltshire-based troops from 5th Battalion the Rifles and The King’s Royal Hussars participating in an exercise on 29 November.

06 December 2016