Major operation to evacuate Undercliff

By a County Press reporter

Sunday, February 16, 2014

 

Major operation to evacuate Undercliff

Soldiers help to move the possessions of Undercliff residents. Picture courtesy of Isle of Wight Council.

EMERGENCY services on the Isle of Wight have worked with the military in a major operation to evacuate Undercliff residents threatened by landslips today (Sunday).

The operation has been led by the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service and co-ordinated by the Isle of Wight Council.

Military personnel, the coastguard, firefighters, Island Roads and the police have all been involved in the operation to help evacuate residents and move their possessions.

It followed days of bad weather that led to ground movement, leaving nine properties in the Woodlands area inaccessible by vehicle, the council said.

One home was evacuated on Friday after it was found to be unsafe and the council yesterday (Saturday) requested other residents to leave their properties due to safety concerns and uncertainty about utility supplies.

The council said saturated ground and continued movement meant conditions in the area were extremely dangerous and members of the public should keep away.

Councillor Ian Stephens, leader of the Isle of Wight Council, said: "We are very grateful for the additional assistance that the military is providing in our operation to assist residents affected by this terrible situation.

"Organisations are working closely together to provide humanitarian assistance to residents at this time of need. It is great to see such willingness and co-ordination from everyone involved.

"The council has been liaising closely with residents since the situation worsened on Wednesday and we will continue to provide whatever support we can.

"I would like to thank everyone involved in this relief effort, it just demonstrates how people can pull together in difficult times – something the Island community is very good at."

A formal road and footpath closure is in place between Mirables (west of site) and Old Park Road (east of site). 

Pictures below show, courtesy of the Isle of Wight Council, show the operation to evacuate Undercliff residents.

Undercliff

Undercliff

Undercliff

Undercliff

Undercliff

Isle of Wight Council director of community well-being Mark Howell, Lt Col James Bryant, commanding officer of 7 Rifles, Lisa Scovell, Isle of Wight Council emergency management,  deputy leader Cllr Steve Stubbings and leader Cllr Ian Stephens during a briefing at County Hall.

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