Former Portsmouth coastguard’s mission to tackle flooding

Mark Jones

Mark Jones

The hustings at Portsmouth College - from left:  David Carpenter (college governor), Gerald Vernon-Jackson (Lib Dems), Ian McCulloch (Green), Steve Fitzgerald (college teacher and chair), Stephen Morgan (Labour), Kevan Chippindall-Higgin (Ukip) and Penny Mordaunt (Cons)   Picture: Heather Eggelton

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AN EX-COASTGUARD from Portsmouth has travelled to a Berkshire village to help people hit by flooding.

Mark Jones, 43, had seen the flooding at Wraysbury village on television and decided he had to help.

He said: ‘Like everybody else I’ve seen it on the news that nothing’s happening, it’s just the local residents that are really doing the work.

‘I thought I’d come up and help so I came up (on Monday) and we’re still here.

‘We’ve been here all night, slept in the van for a couple of hours and we’re back at it now.

‘We’ve been taking people to their houses, from their houses, it’s ongoing and it seems to be getting worse.’

Roads and homes were blocked by water in the village with more rain making it worse yesterday.

Residents were busy trying to carry on with life, with one man making waders so he could pop out to the shop.

A woman and her pet Labrador were rescued by the firefighters in a dinghy after her home was surrounded by water.

Other volunteers had travelled from Brighton to help.

Volunteers coordinating the flood response were delighted when a number of police, fire brigade and Army personnel were finally deployed to the village yesterday.

Sajid Varda, 38, who is one of those operating the command centre set up in the village school, said: ‘It’s great that they have turned up. A little bit late but it’s better than never.

‘Finally we have a professional crisis response.’

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