Brrrr! Havering emergency services brace for cold snap

WITH the earliest onset of cold weather in almost 20 years and temperatures set to plummet to -5C in the coming week, Havering’s emergency services are on high alert to keep the borough moving.

Fire brigades are bracing themselves for a dramatic increase in call outs, including flooding caused by frozen pipes, accidents on icy roads and blazes from heaters and fireplaces.

People falling through frozen lakes and ponds is also a concern, with extra emergency equipment such as rescue boats, inflatable paths, thermal clothing and dry suits being deployed.

London Fire Brigade’s Havering borough commander, Trevor Meers, said: “Whether it is helping to save people from frozen ponds or pumping out flooded houses we are on standby round the clock to help. However, it is important that people take extra care during these next few days so that we do not have to be called out in the first place.

“If people take simple but effective steps to protect themselves from the cold snap it could mean the difference between either their life being put at risk or their home becoming flooded.”

Havering Council is also on standby for the cold snap, with 250 tonnes of grit and another 1250 tonnes on the way.

The council is responsible for 618kms of road in the borough, excluding trunk roads and motorways.

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Priority roads, or main, roads, account for 288kms in the borough. Once these are cleared, the council will set to work on secondary roads, which make up 330km.

Pavements are also gritted in order of priority, with areas such as major shopping centres treated first.

Cabinet member for environment, Cllr Barry Tebbutt, said: “Our staff went out of their way to deliver meals, grit and around the clock and assist vulnerable residents following the last severe winter. I am confident that they are prepared to do the same this year if needs be.”

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