|The Wall due to collapse (Photo Jana Branecka)|
Sedgemoor District Council operated a Rest Centre at Bridgwater Arts Centre, Castle Street overnight (Friday, November 4) for residents evacuated from West Quay and nearby dwellings DUE to the collapse of part of the riverside road. Approximately 30 residents initially used the Rest Centre, the majority went to stay overnight with friends and family; four remained at the Rest Centre overnight. The Rest Centre has now relocated to the Sedgemoor Room at Bridgwater House. SDC would like to thank the Arts Centre for their help with this incident.
Water drainage staff are assisting the responsible organisation, Environment Agency, with advice. It is hoped that the dwellings will be unaffected, declared safe and that people will be able to return home sometime today .Sedgemoor District Council’s reception in Bridgwater House at King Square will be open, to give information and advice.
A spokesman said "The Environment Agency has inspected the wall and it looks clear that a 20-30m section will collapse. This may take some days. The consequences will then be assessed as a result. The good news is that work is now almost complete to secure services and utilities running under the road. This means that electricity, water, sewerage and gas systems will still work for the majority of the rest of the town should the wall and road collapse. The challenges are that 19 families have been moved from their homes and will only be allowed back over the next day or two in order to collect their belongings."
The horrific incident on the M5 which saw all available Emergency units called out of Bridgwater at the height of the Carnival procession and led to the cancellation of the Squibbing means the motorway is likely to be closed until Sunday lunchtime. This is to enable Police to recover burned out vehicles, clear debris and carry out their investigations into what is now classed a crime scene.
A meeting of Gold Command has finished and as a result, North Petherton carnival has now also been postponed.
There are still no confirmed figures for the number of fatalities but it is known that more than 50 people were injured in the incident. SCC has teams of people assisting where appropriate.
Leader of Council Duncan mcGinty said "This incident will now see local authorities take the lead. Sedgemoor District Council responded speedily and effectively on the night with support from various teams among SCC. The impending collapse will see further SCC involvement and the eventually repairs and restoration is likely to take weeks if not months."