Watery Gate claims more victims
Weather conditions cause problems in borough as snow returns and Watery Gate floods catching out drivers
FIREFIGHTERS have once again been called out to Watery Gate Lane for a third time in a matter of days - this time for a truck transporting horses.
Despite repeated warnings in recent days after two cars got trapped in the notorious ford, the lorry attempted to pass through over two feet of water at the flooding hotspot.
Posting pictures on Facebook, Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service Hinckley Station, getting rather exasperated, posted: “Guess where we’ve been...... “Again...... “Need we say more??” They included the hashtag #ReadTheBloominSigns!! and #ReturnOfTheEmoji in relation to their use of emojis to spare the trapped motorists’ blushes.
A driver got trapped in a similar amount of water on Thursday afternoon before two men were forced to take refuge on their car roof on Friday night in three feet of icy water.
Following the second incident fire crews put tape across the ford to deter motorists but their efforts appear to have had no effect on the driver of the horse truck.
On Facebook, readers reacted angrily calling on motorists who ignore the signs and find themselves in need of rescue to face a hefty bill.
Firefighters took the unusual step of taping off the notorious flooded brook at Watery Gate Lane after two cars got trapped in just over 32 hours. Volunteer responders and fire fighters attended the two incidents last Thursday and Friday, and issued warnings after each one urging motorists not to enter the flood water.
However despite the warnings, reports in the media and the taping off of the ford, the horse lorry, which had three animals and two people inside, got trapped on Monday afternoon prompting further warnings from the fire service.
The ford claimed its first victim on Thursday afternoon (December 14) when a red Vauxhall Corsa ground to a halt in water two-and-a-half feet deep.
The Leicestershire and Rutland 4x4 Response group were alerted to the vehicle and, after concluding the rescue, posted a warning on Twitter.
Warning drivers not to enter the ford, the message said: “Watery Gate Thurlaston Leics claims another victim. Why write your car off for sake of a few miles detour.
“This Corsa was pulled out by one of our responders today before it got washed away.”
Despite this, a second vehicle then got trapped on Friday night at around 11.55pm.
Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service sent crews from Hinckley and the technical rescue crew from southern station.
An alert on the service’s website said: “Vehicle in flood water, two occupants of vehicle stranded on roof of vehicle.
“Extricated from vehicle by fire service personnel using water rescue equipment.”
Issuing a warning at the same time, the LFRS said: “Please do not drive into flood water as you may not be lucky enough to drive out again. Take notice of road signs and don’t take any risks. “Think. Don’t sink.” The ford is notorious for trapping motorists who think their vehicles can cope with the water and despite clear signage warning of the dangers and highlighting the water depth.
Just six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars; this depth can cause loss of control or possible stalling as water is sucked into the exhaust or washes into the air intake.
Many cars will start to float in as little as one foot of water - this can be extremely dangerous because as the wheels lose grip, you lose control.
Two feet of flowing water can sweep away most vehicles - including large four-wheel drive cars.
Following the second incident, the crew from Hinckley station posted pictures of the two occupants stranded on the roof of their vehicle.
The message on the Hinckley station Facebook page said: “Last night Hinckley’s crew along, with East Midlands Ambulance Service and Hinckley Police and Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service Southern Station, attended Watery Gate Lane in Thurlaston to reports of two people on the roof of their car having been caught out by the ford being too deep for their vehicle.
“As you can see from the photos the Ford was at three feet depth which is far too much for a normal car.
“We taped off either side of the ford to discourage others from trying to cross.
“Please drive to the conditions and read the signs ahead, including depth signs!!”
Officers from Market Bosworth also attended the scene.
Posting to the Market Boswort Police Facebook page, an officer said: ““We’re supposed to be covering the town and the Christmas party goers....however...
““Non - locals trying to get through Watery Gate Thurlaston. It was a non starter - they ended up taking refuge on the roof of their car until Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service rescued them in a raft and police and East Midlands Ambulance Service stood by.
“Both were non hyperthermic and were taken to a local warm place where they await a lift back to Birmingham.”
The post added: “Big thanks again to Leicestershire & Rutland 4x4 Response. After a quick message - one of the brilliant volunteers came out to help.
“Luke Dhiman, from the group, slipped on some waders (rather him than me) and with our faithful (Land Rover) Defender - we towed out the car from Watery Gate while we await the recovery company. The depth marker is there for a reason. You can’t ignore over 1 metre of icy water. Don’t just follow your sat nav.”
Image altered by fire service to protect identities
The car pulled from the flooded ford at Watery Gate Lane by volunteer 4x4 responders. Picture courtesy of Leicestershire and Rutland 4x4 Response.