Last year, England saw 2 ½ times the average monthly rainfall in September and Octoberm which resulted in the highest autumn rainfall since 2007.
The Environment Agency (EA) contacted Jackson Civil Engineering in October 2019 to support the area and field teams to carry out incident response work for the Midlands Delivery Hub as part of the Collaborative Delivery Framework (CDF). The team was asked to help with resources on the ground, make emergency inspections and carry out work on the areas worst affected.
In collaboration with the EA, Arup, and supply chain partners, the team responded to 18 failing assets working 3,085 hours over a 3-week period in November, saving over 1,000 acres of land from flooding, along with numerous homes and properties.
Together, the team undertook emergency temporary and recovery work. Once a site report was issued and approved, the team established what repair was required and the site teams and materials were mobilised within 48 hours.
The incident response team was compiled from specially chosen individuals which then worked together to share skills and resources to overcome potential problems and physical constraints such as restricted working areas.
Due to restricted working areas and unknown ground conditions, Jackson worked closely with specialist supply chain partners to use innovative methods to ensure work was carried out safely. Specific plant was used that can operate in both dry and wet environments, such as amphibious excavators, accompanied by tracked dumpers to minimise disturbance and damage to the existing ground.
Many of the areas around the assets were also flooded, leaving limited space for storing plant and materials. The team worked with local landowners, farmers and businesses to secure large temporary storage areas, including car parks. These were reinstated immediately after the work had been completed.
To date, over 140 sites have been considered for the Environment Agency Recovery Work plan, with 24 of those confirmed as needing immediate attention within Lincolnshire alone. The nature of the Environment Agency’s CDT encourages collaboration across the entire supply chain ensures the seamless delivery of complex projects. The Incident Support Contract is a shining example of where the team achieved tangible improvements to ensure that work was carried out safety and efficiently through high-risk weather conditions.
Environment Agency’s Director of Operations, Steve Moore, said: “Our teams across the whole country were stretched in operating and maintain assets while trying to support mutual aid requests from elsewhere and the team's response clearly demonstrated the benefits of our collaborative framework arrangements. In simple terms, the support many of the team gave at short notice was magnificent ad it was clear that they were acting in a truly collaborative sense, putting the protection of our communities first.”