On Friday 4th December 2015, the Met Office issued severe weather warnings for wind and rain as storm Desmond was set to hit the UK bringing record amounts of rainfall. The worst affected areas were centred on Cumbria, parts of Lancashire and the Scottish Borders.
67mm of rain fell in just 24 hours on the village of Glenridding in the heart of the Cumbrian Lake District National Park and flooding occurred overnight on 5th December. Beckside Construction (who are based in nearby Millom) attended immediately and worked tirelessly to clear a channel and get the watercourse back into the beck (stream). However, on 9th December following another night of heavy rainfall the river burst its banks once again and the village was flooded for a second time.
Andrew and Michael Stevens from Stevens Equipment Rental (SER) had visited the village on Wednesday 9th December prior to the second flooding to see if the village could utilise any of the machinery SER had available from their yard, only 45 miles away in Silloth, Cumbria. The village originally decided to wait until later in the week for the machines once they had removed stone from the river but when the village awoke to the scenes of further flooding the following morning the local councillors and flood team called to ask SER to mobilise machinery as soon as they could.
On Thursday 10th December, using local sub-contract hauliers, SER despatched two Volvo articulated dump trucks (one A30G and one A30F) to Glenridding with Andrew and Michael available to operate them.
The project was designed with the Volvo A30F and A30G reversing down a ramp and into the river, then reversing another 100-500m downstream to be loaded by a 20 ton excavator, with a 14 ton excavator also assisting the clearance of the river bed. One of the excavators working in the beck was fitted with a tilt-rotator Steelwrist attachment that handled the task very well.
Once loaded the trucks followed a designated haul route through the village to a holding area at Jenkins field approximately ¼ of a mile from the river on the outskirts of the village.
The river had diverted across Jenkins field during the flood so it was already covered in a layer of debris and was chosen as a good area to stockpile the removed material until the authorities could decide of a more suitable location for the 8-10,000 tonnes of different sizes of stone.
Following a meeting with Beckside Construction & the team on site a decision was made to mobilise an additional dump truck (another Volvo A30F) and a Volvo L110G wheeled loading shovel to start work on the Friday morning.
When the extra machines were delivered, SER Engineer Michael Adams operated the Volvo A30F and an operator from Beckside Construction operated the L110G. While the Beckside operator was mainly experienced in operating Telehandlers, he was shown how to fill the bucket of the L110G and was then able to load the A30F in 4-5 passes from a large stockpile that Beckside Construction had built up over the previous 3 days.
After the work was completed Andrew Stevens commented:
We wanted to help our local community as we have friends in the village of Glenridding and had machines off hire locally in our yard at Silloth.
Trying to assist was important to us as it was people’s homes and livelihoods that were being affected.