Wa­tery Gate claims more vic­tims

Weather con­di­tions cause prob­lems in bor­ough as snow re­turns and Wa­tery Gate floods catch­ing out driv­ers

Hinckley Times - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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