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WATCH: Community "once again showing strength and resilience”

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Tuesday 17 January 2023

WATCH: Community "once again showing strength and resilience”

Tuesday 17 January 2023

The Chief Minister has said she is “exceptionally proud and grateful” to the emergency services and other members of the community who have provided support to the islanders left homeless by the flash flooding at Grands Vaux today.

The flooding - which has displaced at least 39 families - is the third major tragedy to hit the island, stretching its emergency services, in little more than a month.

A "major incident" was declared this afternoon and a 'Tactical Coordination Group' was set up to manage the crisis response.

It consists of representatives from the States of Jersey Police, Jersey Fire and Rescue Service, Jersey Water, Andium Homes, Jersey Electricity, the Jersey Ambulance Service, and the Government's Home Affairs, CYPES, and IHE Departments.

Opening a press conference this evening, Deputy Kristina Moore lauded the response from all services as "immediate and professional".

"I first want to thank the Fire Service who have been at the scene all day, pumping water, supporting residents who need to leave their homes," she said.

Video: The Fire and Rescue Service had to help some people out of their homes using dinghies due to the level of the water, which was waist-high in some areas. (Hannah Fitzgerald)

The Chief Minister later added: "I want to assure islanders first and especially those who've been affected by the flooding that we will continue to provide support, including emergency accommodation, in the coming hours and days.

"In addition to the Fire Service, I want to all of those emergency services officers and Andium staff who have been assisting with the evacuations, as well as staff at St. Saviour's Parish Hall and Beresford Street Kitchen, who have provided the emergency reception centre.

"Equally, my thanks goes to the Jersey Hospitality Association and those hotels and guesthouses that have provided emergency accommodation for the islanders who have been displaced today by the flooding,

"Once again, our community is showing its strength and resilience in the face of unexpected challenges. Our emergency services plan and prepare for such events and I'm exceptionally proud and grateful to them for their immediate and professional response."

Specialist resources from the UK and further afield had to be brought to the island to assist with the investigation and recovery efforts in the wake of the sinking of the L'Ecume II trawler on 8 December and the Pier Road explosion just two days later.

While Fire Chief Paul Brown this evening branded the flooding as "disruptive and distressing", he said he did not anticipate that the island would have to draw upon external expertise in its response as the incident was "localised".

He also said that all emergency services were following protocols set out in a Flood Plan.

20 homes have been evacuated so far, and work is ongoing to evacuate 30 more deemed to be at risk as rainfall continues overnight and water continues to spill over the top of the Grands Vaux Reservoir.

Mr Brown said the process to "return to normality" should begin tomorrow (Wednesday 18 January).

Follow Express for updates...


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Grands Vaux flooding - where to call for support

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