Sid Valley’s community flood heroes praised

Flooding in the Byes, Sidmouth. Picture: Eve Matthews

Flooding in the Byes, Sidmouth. Picture: Eve Matthews - Credit: Archant

The Sid Valley’s ‘local heroes’ have been praised for their ‘Dunkirk spirit’ assisting communities affected by flash flooding.

Heavy rain wreaked havoc in Sidmouth, Sidbury and Sidford this week, with people taking to the streets to clear drains to prevent flooding.

Cllr Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s cabinet member for highway management and flood prevention, personally thanked residents who assisted stranded drivers and collected sandbags to protect absent neighbours’ properties.

He added: “It’s what was always known as the Dunkirk spirit. They all have their community at their hearts and I certainly take my hat off to each and every one of them.

“These weather events are becoming more common now and hopefully more local residents will get involved.”

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Among those thanked for their efforts were Sidbury residents Rodney Cross and Robbie Drew.

Facebook user Tracey Morgan said the village would have been in ‘so much trouble’ if Rodney, 49, had not cleared the drains.

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She said: “He was out until 3am on Sunday morning helping the village. Rodney, every time we get hit with this weather, you are out clearing ditches, and caring about others.

“Every time we have severe weather he is out making sure people in the village are safe. He clears the gullyies and drains to try and clear the worst of the flooding. He truly is a local hero, and as a community we are immensely grateful for his efforts. He helps to clear trees when they fall as well.”

Rodney’s daughter Chelsea, speaking on Tuesday, said: “He is very grateful that he was noticed for helping out yesterday.

“However, he hasn’t helped just to be recognised, he has helped because he wants to do good in and around the village.”

Maisy Collins thanked Robbie Drew on Facebook for his efforts during the flooding.

She said: “He is always out brushing down the main road through Sidbury.

“Has his broom at hand and sweeps the water down and clears the drains.

“It sounds like Sidbury is full of caring people.”

See our coverage of the floods on pages 10 and 11.

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