Eight crews from the Red Cross at Warmley were this weekend on standby to step up help for flood-hit communities in Somerset.
They are used to helping in disasters across the world but this week the depot in Tower Road North has been deployed closer to home – sending its all-terrain Unimog vehicle, which is able to get through the deep floodwaters, to deal with the worsening crisis in Somerset.
The conditions in the county are grim, as septic tanks have been flooded and reports of dead animals floating around.
Colleen Cleevely, local operations director for the British Red Cross, said: “It is very similar to what the teams experience when they go to an international disaster sometimes.
“Here in Warmley we have got the emergency response units and one very essential item of kit that we have been able to deploy is the Unimog. It’s able to get through much higher levels of water than a normal 4×4 so although we have provided 4×4 Land Rovers as well over the last couple of days, we are now in a situation where it’s only the Unimog that is operational down there.”
She said eight crews were on standby this weekend to take fire and emergency support vehicles down to Somerset if required.
Purpose-built vehicles, they have clothing, a shower and facilities for providing hot drinks and food on board.