Christmas flood warnings issued across Bedford Borough as River Great Ouse levels rise

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Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service used specialist drone equipment to monitor rescue efforts and help map flooding.
Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service used specialist drone equipment to monitor rescue efforts and help map flooding. Credit: Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

Various parts of Bedford Borough have been issued flood warnings as the River Great Ouse rises.

It has already burst its banks in North Bedfordshire villages and threatens to do so in other areas too.

Read: Residents urged to stay at home as widespread floods hit North Bedfordshire villages

Anyone living in areas at risk of flooding are being contacted directly and being advised to take measures to keep themselves safe, with widespread flooding expected.

Those affected by flooding have also been told they are permitted to go to other people’s homes, despite the Tier Four COVID-19 regulations currently in place.

Although, they are advised to “think carefully and if possible do not go to an older or vulnerable person’s home, to keep them safe”.

At the time of publication there are three flood warnings in place, meaning “flooding is expected – immediate action required”. The warnings cover:

  • Low lying areas close to the River Great Ouse at Kempston
  • River Great Ouse at Odell
  • River Great Ouse at Felmersham, Sharnbrook, Bletsoe, Pavenham and Milton Ernest
  • River Great Ouse at Oakley and Clapham
  • River Great Ouse at Bromham and Biddenham
  • Low lying areas close to the River Great Ouse at Kempston
  • Wider area at risk from the River Great Ouse at Kempston

There is also one flood alert in place, meaning “flooding is possible – be prepared”. This covers:

  • Middle River Great Ouse in Milton Keynes, Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire.
  • Low lying roads between Harrold and Oakley in Bedfordshire

There are reports that residents in parts of Bedford around Cardington Road have also been warned of flooding due to heavy rainfall.

Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “The Council and Bedfordshire Police have contacted residents at risk of flooding directly and given advice on action to take.

The council say that emergency services, volunteers and council officers are also on the ground advising residents and providing support to help people evacuate.

Check the Government website for updates and advice: https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/warnings

Information leaflets on how to evacuate safely are being delivered to residents at risk.

The main advice is to turn off gas, water and electricity and move any valuables upstairs.

Only take what you need such as medication and any insurance documents.

Updates on areas at risk and flood alerts can be found here.

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