Tens of thousands of sandbags have been filled and sent to flood-hit parts of the UK thanks to the efforts of staff from Kettering Council.
The authority joined forces with other neighbouring authorities, military personnel, Northamptonshire County Council, Northamptonshire Highways and local businesses to fill about 75,000 sandbags which are now being distributed to severely affected areas in England and Wales.
The team-effort began after a request for 10,000 sandbags was received – which was then increased by a further 15,000 then an additional 10,000, a further 20,000 and a final 20,000 over a four-day period.
Council workers worked tirelessly during the day and night, resourcing the necessary stock of sand, sandbags and pallets with local businesses in Kettering providing food and refreshments on a daily basis to all those involved.
David Cook, chief executive of Kettering Borough Council said “This has been an extraordinary effort by all concerned. There’s a good chance that if you see a sandbag on television, it has been supplied from Kettering. I want to express my personal thanks to everyone involved, including local businesses who donated food to keep us all going.
“Our communities’ response to another community in difficulty is a credit to us all.”
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service has also mobilised its fleet to help those affected by flooding.
Its high-volume pump based at Corby Fire Station in Phoenix Parkway was dispatched to Oxfordshire at the beginning of February, and last week was sent to Royal Berkshire where it remains.
The HVP is a specialist vehicle that can pump water at three times the normal volume.
Northamptonshire farmers were initially so moved by the Somerset floods that they sent rescue packages of animal feed to help flood-stricken farmers.
About 75,000 filled sandbags were dispatched from Kettering, which contained about 2,000 tonnes of sand.
Louise McCann, general manager of contractors MGWSP said “It’s amazing to see the cooperation and assistance from all involved.
“This couldn’t have been achieved without everyone working together and it’s this comradeship which has driven us all to complete this operation.”
Lieutenant Colonel Andrew McCombe, Joint Regional Liaison Officer, said: “The opportunity to support the excellent work by Kettering Council and partners was an excellent example of multi-agency working.
“The Soldiers of 7 Regiment Cottesmore and Gunners from 3 Squadron Wittering were able to work shoulder to shoulder with all involved to fill an impressive number of sandbags urgently required in flood affected areas of southern England.”