Tree number 1 the morning after.

Friday night, and with winds already strong and 60mph gusts forecast, on top of ground saturated by weeks of rain…..  Yeovil Rapid Relief Team had a gut feeling that there would be something to do!

The first call came at just before 9:00pm from a member of the congregation; a large tree had fallen across the A30, a main route on the north of Yeovil. A few calls and the team were on the way.

As the RRT approached the Police roadblocks, it was clear they were glad to see them! There were over 50 tree incidents across the area! And here was one of the largest! A huge tree completely blocking the road, and as it had fallen, it had brought large parts of other trees with it.

Two trained team members set to work with saws whilst the rest of the team got busy moving the debris. Just over an hour later the RRT with their brushes and blowers finished the clean up and the road was ready to open, but… they hadn’t finished… The Sergeant in charge of the incident was heading to Crewkerne, as two of the main routes were blocked with trees. Then came the request – could the RRT help again?…..

Clearing up A30 Yeovil 15.2.14

Only 7 miles away, but with branches strewn over the road and rain blowing horizontally the journey seemed to go on and on. As they were heading out of town on the A30 to Chard there it was, another tree, not as large as the first, but this time much more difficult. Spanning the road, resting on the banks, entangled with a telegraph pole and the telephone cable and across the road it had brought down the electric cables snapping them cleanly off at the post! Fortunately the electric cables were clear of the tree so they got to work. The police officers had already headed off to other trees so the RRT team alerted police control to the damaged cables. 45 minutes later the road was clear, signs and bollards set up around the cable and poles, and the waiting queues of traffic shouted their thanks as they started off.

Police control advised that the other tree had been attended to but as we gathered our equipment, the phone rang again, a very large oak was down in Yeovil and could the RRT help again?…20 minutes later and they were at the scene. This tree was huge……- The tree was still 50+ foot tall lying down! After a quick team meeting they all agreed this was too big for us as a volunteer crew.

South Somerset Council Staff clear the tree at Wellington Flats  15.2.14

It seemed like the police officers were there to stay until County Highways could get to them, unless we could get some bollards to close the road at the junction. Two of the team retraced their route to deal with a small tree half way across the road while the other made use of barriers and cones from the building site at the junction to close the road. One of the team picked up some more cones from a brethren work place and the grateful Police officers were all set to head off on the several mile round trip to close the road the other side.

Wellington Flats, the car emerges 1.00am 15.2.14

As the Police were thanking RRT teams, another request came through from Police control again! What about Wellington Flats in Yeovil, where a tree had come down blocking the road, and burying some cars. It was on the way home, and it was only 12.30am!! The RRT agreed to have a look. On investigation they decided that this was something they could do. With the tree completely blocking in several cars we decided that we couldn’t clear it all but at least we could clear enough of the road so the residents could get out in the morning. 45 minutes later the RRT were finished for night and at 1:30am the exhausted team went home to bed.

The following morning the team were back at work clearing the foot paths and assisting the Council in clearing the debris left by the storms.

RRT Assistance – Thank you 1

 

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