Specialist plant hirer, Land & Water were contacted by A-Plant and the Environment Agency around midday on Thursday 12th December immediately after the first big tidal surge of the winter with an urgent request to supply a very specialist machine to repair flood defences that had been damaged during the recent storm.
Failure to repair the defences could have resulted in a significant risk of flooding in and around Walberswick in Suffolk.
Due to the challenging environment where the flood defences were damaged, the only equipment that could be used to make the repair was an amphibious excavator which could travel over the very soft and flooded local terrain to repair the breached sea wall.
Land & Water’s amphibious machine was working on another customer’s site at the time of the enquiry and careful discussions were had with the other client who, appreciating the risk to people’s houses, agreed to allow Land & Water to have the machine for the weekend to assist at Walberswick. Wheels were immediately set in motion (quite literally) with the Environment Agency arranging their own emergency crew and associated equipment whilst Land & Water had to collect the Machine on Friday afternoon (the very next day).
It then travelled overnight to Walberswick to allow it to be unloaded by 08:00 on Saturday morning. To ensure the works were completed on time, Land & Water supplied both day and night shift operators who at very short notice cancelled all other plans for the weekend. This enabled the machine to work 24 hours a day until late on Sunday when the works were complete. The excavator was quickly cleaned off and loaded back onto overnight transport to be back on the original customer’s site for 08:00 on Monday Morning.
Richard Houghton, Operations Manager at the Environment Agency said, “These flood defences could not have been repaired without this specialist plant and the Land & Water team behind it. We were impressed with the immediate response we received from them – especially at the point of enquiry where by thinking outside the box (instead of saying the machine wasn’t available) – they found a way to make the machine available. With a fantastic team effort between the Land & Water team and my own team, the job was completed safely, quickly and in a way that was extremely sensitive to natural environment around us.”
Press Release, January 14, 2014