Environment & Power Technology (EPT) led the response to Storm Eva’s flooding at HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) offices in Ralli Quays, Salford over the holiday period. The alert was raised due to the rising water levels causing the River Irwell to burst its banks. The waters soon reached the building, flooding the sub-basement car park reaching 1.6 metres high.
The emergency call was made on Boxing Day to EPT’s helpline, who were able to dispatch a team within an hour to assess the site and devise a rapid response to limit the damage to the building.
There were still over 30 vehicles in the car park area so EPT together with the on-site staff organised their removal, as the water levels were rising. After liaising with The Environment Agency and United Utilities, a planned response of activities was quickly executed. This included arranging the supply of two 2,000 gallon jet vacuumation tankers to pump out the flood water.
In order to meet the client’s expectations of re-opening the affected area, the decision was taken to double the equipment capacity for the following day. In just 4 days, 6,000 cubic metres of water, enough to fill almost two-and-a-half Olympic swimming pools was removed to a nearby main sewers by four jet tankers operating in unison. With the basement cleared of flood water a full assessment of critical plant equipment contained on the same floor could be conducted. This included two boost water pump sets, which supplied the water distribution systems, located on the roof and in the plant rooms. The damage was beyond economic repair, so the existing pumps were stripped out with the installation of new sets. Before re-installing the water supply, the systems underwent a chlorination process. This ensured a safe water supply was ready for full re-occupation following the Christmas and New Year period.
The remaining water laying in the depth of the lift shafts was pumped out, so the lifts could be re-instated. The clean-up operation involved the removal of a significant amount of silt and debris. The operation was completed by final visual and technical inspections of the entire site. HMRC were able to continue operations during the process, with a skeleton staff due to the holiday period. The Senior Estates Team at HMRC, “were extremely pleased with the response and efforts” taken to resolve the storms consequences. EPT’s Director, Richard Rodgers said, “We are pleased with the positive feedback received from ensuring business continuity for organisations after the occurrence of such adversities.”
There were six storms that struck the United Kingdom in the seven weeks leading up to the New Year. In this country we now follow the United States arrangement of naming storms in advance by a table of alphabetical alternating gender names. To enable consistency we also adopt their method by not using names beginning with the letters Q, U, X, Y, & Z. New names change each year, occasionally repetition may occur, however names associated with previous notorious storms are avoided.
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