High winds and hard work: A busy day for council workers

THURROCK Council staff were busy keeping roads and footways clear and safe during Monday (28 October) morning’s high winds.

The closure of the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge and subsequent congestion around the west of the borough delayed some crews – and bin collections in the South Ockendon area – but the council teams battled through.

Cllr Victoria Holloway, cabinet member for Environment, said: “The Met Office’s early warning system meant that our plans were in place on Friday.

“On Monday, as reports of trees or walls falling came in the team worked through them in priority order – those which are dangerous, blocking roads and paths taking priority.”

She added: “I would like to thank all the staff who helped keep Thurrock moving and safe – including the refuse teams who reported back about incidents they came across while collecting the bins.”

Among the issues dealt with by the council’s teams on Monday morning were two large boughs from different trees falling in the Grays new cemetery.

One was quickly removed, but the second fell outside the cemetery. The council team cleared Malvern Road and liaised with homeowners about insurance issues.

Two boughs also fell at Corringham cemetery and one at St Peter and St Paul’s in Grays. At Chadwell cemetery the knee rail will be replaced.

A dead elm fell in Romford Road, Aveley, and has been removed, and specialist contractors were called to Overcliff Road, Grays, after a tree fell on a street lamp.

In all, the council’s teams attended nearly 40 reports of damage and fallen trees and branches between 7:15am and 12.30pm, clearing paths, roads and making areas safe.

Reports varied from small pieces of elm blowing out of roadside hedgerows, to some fairly large trees that fell, some across roads or on to property.

Where minor property damage occurred, the council advised residents to contact their insurance.

At 1pm, there are still a few less urgent reports that teams should be able to get to soon.

In some instances the council teams simply made the trees safe, leaving them or stacked the debris. These will be collected once all incidents have been checked, this was to ensure that the teams could get to all reported incidents as quickly as possible.

People can inform the council of incidents be emailing general.enquiries@thurrock.gov.uk, by using the Report It link on the website (thurrock.gov.uk) or by contacting the council via Twitter at #thurrockcouncil

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