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"Major incident" declared as overflowing reservoir threatens 30 more homes

Tuesday 17 January 2023

"Major incident" declared as overflowing reservoir threatens 30 more homes

Tuesday 17 January 2023

Authorities have declared a major incident after heavy rainfall led to serious flooding in Grands Vaux, with at least 30 more households expected to be evacuated.

20 households were evacuated earlier today - some by boat and tractor - and residents placed in alternative accommodation.

Reservoir risk as more rainfall expected overnight

Government officials this evening said that Grands Vaux reservoir has now "overtopped" and begun to spill water into the immediate area, putting more homes at risk.

They said that up to 25mm more rainfall is expected this evening and overnight, after the island experienced half a month's worth of rainfall in the past 24 hours.

Jersey Fire and Rescue Service is actively monitoring the water levels during this evening and into tomorrow morning.

House calls to be made

In the next few hours, further house calls will be made. Those who are able to leave safely should, upon individual advice from the emergency services knocking at their door, immediately evacuate properties.

These evacuation advice calls include the area starting from Grands Vaux School and running along Les Grands Vaux until Troy Court.

Affected residents, who have been told by emergency services that they should evacuate, are actively encouraged to stay with friends and family for the short-term. 

If residents have not been contacted within the next few hours, they are not being advised to leave their homes.

Video: The Fire and Rescue Service have been helping some people using dinghies due to the high level of the water. (Hannah Fitzgerald)

Hotels and guesthouses provide rooms

Earlier today, the Jersey Hospitality Association have put out an urgent call for hotels in the town area to offer rooms to house the evacuated residents, who are currently being cared for in St. Saviour's Parish Hall.

However, Andium are content that they have secured sufficient rooms for their residents from the area and further hotel rooms are available as back up or for non-Andium residents who may require them.

School to remain closed

It has also been confirmed that Grands Vaux School will not open tomorrow, for the second day in a row.

Although the floodwater has reached the school site, the Government said that it has not affected the fabric of the school building.


Pictured: The water level this morning. (Steven Ozouf)

"I'm really worried"

Nataly Fay, a resident of Nicholson Close in Grands Vaux, said this morning the flooding was the worst she had seen in the 18 years she had lived there.

"Even though we’ve put the barriers up it’s still coming in - it’s all through the house now," she explained. "It’s usually our road that gets flooded but it’s much worse this time, I’m really worried."

She added: "Everything is going to be ruined, it’s awful."

Sandbag plea

Another resident, Steven Ozouf, took to social media this morning to issue a desperate plea for sandbags to prevent the water entering the homes of him and his neighbours. 


However, it was too late and Mr Ozouf and his family were evacuated from their home this afternoon.

Several roads in the area remain closed as a precaution whilst Jersey Fire and Rescue clear drains and securing the area. There are further road closures in St. Mary and St. Martin due to standing water and some overflow from other reservoirs.

Push to pump water

Jersey Water is now pumping water from Grands Vaux reservoir into Queen's Valley reservoir, where it can be treated.

The cavern, which collects overflow during heavy storms, was full at 05:00 this morning.

Any additional overflow will continue to flow into St. Aubin's Bay and several other sites until the inflow stops and the excess can be pumped into the treatment plant.

Expert groups set up

The emergency response to the incident is being managed by a 'Tactical Co-ordination Group', consisting of representatives from States of Jersey Police, Jersey Fire and Rescue Service, Jersey Water, CYPES, JHA, IHE, Andium Homes, Jersey Electricity and Jersey Ambulance Service.

A Scientific Technical Advisory Cell (STAC) will also be formed tomorrow to consider any public health implications, such as the potential presence of human waste that may have come out of the drain system during the flooding.

Public health alert

Parents are being advised to be careful of where their children play, and pet owners should also be extra vigilant around puddles and standing water.

Sea swimming should be refrained from until public health officials confirm it is safe to do so.

Parish support

Executive Officer of the Parish of St Saviour, Marco Vieira, has also confirmed that the Parish Hall will remain open throughout the night to continue its ongoing support as an 'Emergency Hub'.

He said: “We continue to work closely with Andium Homes in the ongoing efforts to support residents of Grands Vaux who have been impacted by the major flood in the Grands Vaux vicinity.  

“In conjunction with Andium Homes, shortly before 9:30am, we have been providing the Parish Hall as an ‘Emergency Hub’ enabling us to support residents who have been displaced as a consequence of the floods with hot food and drink and other catering arrangements, along with blankets. Temporary accommodation is also being provided by Andium Homes.”

Mr Vieira added: “Our utmost priority is the well-being of those who have been affected by the floods. There are several reports throughout other areas of the Parish (other minor floods in roads; Le Val Poucin, Les Routeurs and Mont Sohier) but we understand that emergency services are already at hand to assist residents who may or may not be displaced from their homes. The Parish Hall will remain open throughout the night to continue its ongoing support to those affected.”

Calling for help

Residents requiring assistance should contact the Parish Hall on 735864 or the Duty Centenier on 07797 716661.

An emergency hotline has also been set up to support those with concerns. It will be open until 23:00 tonight and will reopen at 08:30 tomorrow morning.

Follow Express for updates...


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