Flooding in Cumbria

AA urges people not to enter flood water in storm-hit Cumbria

AA urges people not to enter flood water in storm-hit Cumbria

The AA's four specialist flood-busting Land Rovers (its 'Special Operations Response Team' or AA SORT) have been flat out again this morning in the flood-hit areas of Cumbria rescuing drivers – both members and non-members – caught out by the extreme conditions.

Use of sat nav in flood affected areas

If you're travelling in or through the area affected by flooding it's best not to rely on Sat Nav for directions unless you know it's been updated with recent bridge closures. The AA recommends listening to local radio for the latest information and planning routes accordingly.

The AA Route Planner has been updated with the two major bridge closures but this is a rapidly changing situation so further or temporary bridge closures if implemented may not be reflected.

Detailed information from Cumbria County Council on bridge closures»

Darron Burness, manager of the AA's Special Operations Response Team, says: "To be blunt, people really have to respect the weather and stay at home, if practical, and avoid driving in the flooded areas. We're still going out to people getting stuck after ignoring road closures and driving into flood water. This is foolhardy and puts them at risk, as well as tying up the resources of the emergency services, which are already stretched.

"Already, there's a lot of sewage and debris in the flood water and manhole covers can get dislodged, so you really don't know what hazards you're stepping into, or what diseases you might catch. The water can move deceptively quickly too, so you could get swept away."

The AA's specialist Land Rovers are working alongside the regular patrol force in Cumbria and are double-crewed by certified water rescue technicians in dry suits and buoyancy aids. The vehicles are equipped with tow poles, power winches, special elasticated 'kinetic' rope and have an on-board decontamination kit.

Operational Capability

  • Specially equipped units capable of operating in or near flood water
  • Each unit is two-man crewed for safe working
  • Certified Water Rescue Technicians, strategically located, trained by Rescue3, the leading provider to Fire Service, RNLI, Environment Agency, and others
  • Full PPE (dry suit, buoyancy aid, etc)
  • 4x4 driver trained, including off-road
  • Tow-pole & tow straps, power winches, kinetic rope
  • On-board decontamination kit

Some of the specially trained AA SORT technicians


24 November 2009