Work to return flood-hit areas back to normal following the winter storms will last for months to come, according to the chief executive of a Harrogate company heavily involved in clear-up operations across Scotland and the North.
Asked when his company’s remediation work would be completed, Mark Calvert, CEO of Adler & Allan, said: “That’s the impossible question at the moment. Repair and resilience work will last long after it’s stopped raining. It will take some months yet.”
Adler & Allan, which provides specialist fuel and environmental response services, has been in the thick of flood management efforts since Storm Desmond hit Cumbria in early December. Since then it has been conducting vital pumping and clear-up operations across Yorkshire and most recently in Scotland.
“We’ve removed 2.1 million litres of water a day since the flooding started,” said Mr Calvert, who is a member of the leadership team of the Business Emergency Resilience Group, the arm of Prince Charles’ Business in the Community organisation set up to help UK businesses deal with emergencies such as flooding.
“It’s been challenging. The main problem has been actually accessing affected areas, and there’ll also be lessons to learn about improving communication channels across the private and public sectors,” said Mr Calvert.
“Also, business premises tend to have oil-fired back-up generators and unfortunately they’re often located in the basement, which is the first place to flood. When that happens the oil can escape, and you can’t just pump that into the nearest river.”
He said flood work progressed through three phases: emergency, repair and resilience. The emergency phase, when the company’s clients included Defra, the Environment Agency and the Rivers and Canals Trust, is largely over, but there is still a lot of repair and resilience work to be done for clients such as Tadcaster brewer Samuel Smith, Co-op Supermarkets and BT.
If you’ve been affected by the flooding, call the Government’s Floodline Service on 0345 988 1188.