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.






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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Displaying the last 10 of 15 comments - Show All Comments

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18th February 2014, at 10:32:40

We need William and Harry (well, the press do anyhow!!)

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by Jack Woodford

18th February 2014, at 07:28:21

People here will know that I am certainly no fan of the council but I do think in this case, given the sheer scale of the movement, it is hard to see any engineering works being able to cope with the force of the landslide.
I think this is just an unfortunate natural occurrence and a human tragedy. No point at all in apportioning blame.
And in fairness to Cllr Stubbings, I think he has spoken very well and reasonably in the interviews I've heard.

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by Keven Ball

17th February 2014, at 11:29:58

This area looks in such a bad state. Sadly, I feel may homes will be lost as a result.

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by Sandra Singleton

17th February 2014, at 08:57:31

This just goes to show what happens when road deterioration is "ignored" for how many years now? ...... That section of road which has just gone, has been cracking and subsiding for 3 years to my knowledge, & it has been traffic light controlled for about 18 months. It is hardly a surprise the inevitable has happened. Too much money spent on Consultants & Consultation - All Speak - No Action. The blame is solely and squarely to be laid at the feet of our Council and the Councils before it for ineffectual proactive planning.

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by Dennis Moor

17th February 2014, at 00:19:49

We love the island so much and all round the Undercliff is top of our favourite spots. We are fortunate to be visitors but we feel so very sad for those folk who will have to move due to the slip. We can only hope things will work out for them. We remember the last really big slip when the road slipped and how people there were cut off. So sad that such a beautiful place is just so risky. Thoughts and Prayers with all affected.

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by Stephen Elliott

16th February 2014, at 23:48:01

Director of community well being!!!

What a joke title that is...redundo for him

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by Mike Crowe

16th February 2014, at 22:34:47

Lee. WHY? ......

I know someone who was looking at property along there last year. His philosophy? "For as long as it is there, it will be a nice house to live in" In other words,.......... a 'throw away house'.

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by sallyann young

16th February 2014, at 22:34:34

I am sure Lee - the insurance side you were not thinking about when you wrote your comment. People that buy near the edge usually don't have insurance because of past movements. They buy because of the beautiful view that they would have . I wouldn't turn it down for £50 - thankyou for the insight on your bedroom antics - but really not needed.

Thankyou for your comment Peter - much appreciated.

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by Peter Jeffery

16th February 2014, at 20:33:47


Think Sallyann has a point mate,

Apology due I think

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by sallyann young

16th February 2014, at 19:26:59

Lee Majors- with everything else going on in their lives!!! - do you think telling the people that have sold -that their buyers should pull out of the sale is of any help whatsoever !!

Give them a break !!

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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