WITH more heavy rain forecast for the coming weekend, West Midlands Ambulance Service is urging the public to heed weather warnings and follow safety advice.
The ambulance service has stated that it will have additional vehicles on duty this weekend as heavy rain and strong winds once again hit parts of the West Midlands region.
WMAS Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer, Craig Cooke, said: “In general, over the weekend we would ask all members of the public to follow the advice of the Environment Agency and other emergency services and stay away from flood control channels, rivers, streams and other waterways at this time.
“We would also advise motorists to exercise extreme caution and not attempt driving through flooded roads.
“Not heeding the many safety warnings puts lives at risk, including ambulance staff and other emergency service personnel called to provide a service in these most challenging of conditions.”
The ambulance service is likely to face a busy time this weekend and the Service is reminding the public that they should only call 999 for life threatening emergencies. For less urgent cases of illness, injury or pre-existing conditions, the public are advised to consider alternative medical assistance such as their GP, NHS 111, visit a walk-in centre or consult a pharmacist.
Meanwhile Severn Trent Water has said it too is ready to deal with flooding in Staffordshire this weekend.
With a strong possibility of flooding across the region tonight (Friday, February 7) and into the weekend, and teams at Severn Trent Water are ready, and already working round the clock, to deal with the inevitable flash flooding.
James Jesic, waste water manager for Severn Trent said: “We are aware that even more bad weather is coming and we’re working hard to get ready for it.
“We have already got plenty of staff on the phones in our call centre and lots of teams available out and about across the region to deal with flooding issues.
“We are also out and about keeping an eye on those areas with a high risk of flooding.
“Unfortunately, in stormy weather, the drains and sewers often have significantly more water flowing through them. When we get a lot of rain in one go, it has a hard time sinking into the ground; so it just runs off the surface and goes directly into drains and sewers.”
And James is offering the following advice for customers who are experiencing flooding:
“If you have flooding at your home, check to see if it’s just rainwater or if it’s sewage that has come from an overflowing sewer, possibly through a manhole cover in your garden or outside your property. If it’s just rainwater, the flooding should subside when it stops raining, although it can take up to four hours for water to drain away, so be patient.
“Where sewage is escaping this is obviously a priority for us, so please call us on 0800 783 4444 and we’ll get a team out to help as quickly as possible.
“If you’re concerned about flooding from drains and gullies in the road, you should call the local council as they are responsible for road drainage, but again, we generally find that the flooding will go away when it stops raining.
“The number of phone calls into Severn Trent can get extremely high when the rain comes and customers may have to wait longer than usual for a response, so following the advice above could save some time.
“If the flooding is due to rainwater, there is no need to call unless it is still there some time after the rain has stopped.“We’d like to reassure our customers that we are working hard to prepare for the bad weather and we will do everything that we can do deal with flooding issues as quickly as possible.”