The military, who were tasked to undertake the inspections by the Armed Forces Minister Penny Mordaunt, helped with the inspection of more than 10,000 flood defences from the South of England to North Yorkshire since the beginning of February. The military personnel travelled along coastlines and rivers using electronic tablets to record and report the condition of embankments, flood walls, outfalls and barriers to the Environment Agency. Joint Military Commander for the operation, Brigadier John Ridge, said:
Following an exceptionally wet winter our skilled men and women from the Armed Forces have been making a real difference, helping the Environment Agency to protect the public from future flooding. This continued assistance demonstrates the value of our military services not only in war fighting but in contingency operations as well.
Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, said:
Building on the strong relationships that we built with the Environment Agency over Christmas and the New Year, I judge that our collaborative work on flood defence inspections has been highly successful. The 30 personnel began their work to support the Environment Agency on 15th February and they have done well to help accelerate the completion of the inspection programme.
We have a strong partnership with the Army and worked with them closely to help communities affected by flooding during December’s record-breaking wet weather. Now our vital recovery work is underway, the military have worked with our teams in areas around the country to finish our routine flood defence inspections. This is essential work which enables us to prioritise any repairs needed and ensure that homes and businesses are well protected.