Chief Executive of Tunbridge Wells, William Benson has given local residents an up-date on the ferocious weather which hit the town overnight on Monday/Tuesday of Christmas week. He said:
“I thought you might appreciate an update on the impact and consequences of the severe weather last night and the Council’s (and partner agencies’) response to it.
In terms of Council operations, the ice skating rink closed slightly early last night but is back up and running today (albeit with some flooding in the park). The Assembly Hall theatre suffered a significant leak with water leaking through the brickwork in the flytower. The pantomime cast made light of it (it happened during the performance) and work went on throughout the night to dry the stage for today’s matinee performance. Bins are being collected as per the revised schedule (http://bit.ly/1bQnWhv) and all other services are running normally. Our parks are open but we have lost a number of trees (particularly at Dunorlan) and our tree contractor has been working to ensure that they are safe.
There has been some significant flooding throughout the borough – most notably in and around Paddock Wood. The Council sandbag stores in Paddock Wood, Capel, Five Oak Green and Lamberhurst were opened last night and residents/South East 4x4 responders/parish councils assisted in deploying around 1,500 sandbags. We have been replenishing our stocks of sandbags at the depot today (and Cory will be delivering them on Boxing Day) in preparation for further bad weather which has been forecast for Friday.
KCC and contractors have been involved in clearing fallen trees and other debris from the roads and Kent Fire and Rescue and the Police have been out throughout the night. Within the town, there has been flooding on the Pantiles and at North Farm.
A number of properties have been without power and the utility companies have been working to restore power. The Kent Public Service Network (internet spine) has also been affected but will be rebooted tomorrow. Our housing team is on standby to open rest centres if electricity is not restored and we have prepared the emergency centre in the Town Hall which we will open if required.
The weather has calmed down a bit (though as I have started writing this the rain has started again!) so we are hoping that the situation is now under control but we are obviously keeping a close eye on the weather given the forecast for Friday.
I’ll keep you posted of any further significant developments. Particular thanks to Gary Stevenson and his team and also to Keith Delves and the facilities team (who have been in throughout the night).”