At the Forshaw Group, we have to be prepared to deal with all kinds of emergencies. Fire damage terrible, but spillages and flooding can be just as hazardous and damaging, especially in the long run. We’ve been involved in many large-scale recovery operations over the years, but here are some recent flood emergencies where our expertise, judgement and timely actions have resulted in successful damage limitation and recovery.
Essential repairs for a Covid vaccination site
One of most recent flood emergencies has been attending an incident at a large commercial council-run building in the North West. On 16 February 2021, we were called out to this large council building, where a burst mains pipe in the road behind the town hall was causing havoc. This had resulted in 25 rooms becoming flooded in the basement, causing considerable damage.
We received the call at 9:10 a.m. and were mobilised and on site within an hour. Once the leak was repaired, so that no further water could worsen the situation, we installed our pumps to remove the water that had risen in the basement. Once this was pumped out, we began lifting out the damaged carpet for disposal. We had 20-25 technicians on site for a few days, to help with the clean-up. It was an extensive operation, across 25 separate rooms. We took asbestos samples, to ensure safety, and all work was carried out to Covid safety precautions. Drying equipment was installed for three weeks, to thoroughly air the spaces. Our specialists were then able to provide the council with a list of repairs that needed to be carried out.
As with all largescale flooding incidents, time was of the essence. The longer water stays in situ, the more it can affect the building, causing structural, damp and moulding issues. The site was soon to be used as a vaccination centre for Covid-19, so they only had two days before opening to carry out all the repairs and restoration, and ensure that it was fully cleaned and sanitised. It took a very quick turnaround to achieve this, which we carried out successfully.
Turning the tide on a Manchester flood deluge
At the end of 2020, a water main burst on Manchester Road in Manchester. We all know how swiftly a water main can cause damage – especially in built-up areas. Often the water jets up, like a geyser, bubbling through manholes and grids. Hardstandings like tarmac, pavement and concrete offer no ready drainage channels. This water main incident quickly flooded four properties, two very badly. The water rose up to the countertops in the kitchen – so a good metre above ground floor level. Access was tricky and temporary accommodation was provided for those residents affected.
We helped with the salvaging of personal possessions, for example photos and furniture, drying them out if possible. In usual circumstances, if larger items are replaceable or have an antique value, like a wardrobe or chest of drawers, they can be replaced by the insurance company like for like, or similar. We aim to recover as much as we can during a salvage operation and items are catalogued to provide a balance for the home insurance. This has been a complex recovery operation, which at the current time is still ongoing.
Restoring houses to homes for a Shropshire town
Oswestry, a town in Shropshire, is susceptible to regular flooding and often suffers from water incidents following heavy downpours. There have even been instances in the last few years of the railway lines being closed due to floods, and rising water and mains bursts have taken their toll on local residents and businesses.
We attended an emergency incident there in 2017 where the whole town was flooded. This affected up to 40 homes, all of which were older properties. The owners were upset by the incident and it caused extensive damage to residents’ homes and possessions. One person had a collection of 10,000 boots which were damaged. Every home and person is different, and we helped out in salvaging their possessions. Each person had differing values to their homes and items, so we had to collate many separate lists for the insurance companies. We help to identify what is unsalvageable, and what needs to be repaired, restored or replaced.
In these situations, we find we have to be very reactive to the current circumstances. Some customers can be angry, or upset, or in shock. We’re there alongside the emergency services to offer reassurance and encouragement that we are in control of the situation. We will strive to salvage what we can, in what can be a constantly-evolving and often very hazardous situation.
Speak to us to see how our our flood emergencies team can assist your emergency.