WATCH: ‘Major incident’ declared following devastating flooding in Grands Vaux

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A MAJOR incident has been declared following severe flooding in Grands Vaux.

Twenty households have been evacuated after torrential rain overnight flooded numerous properties during the early hours.

Grands Vaux reservoir is now full and is spilling water into nearby streams – threatening many more homes.

The government said that 30 other households will need to be evacuated.

An emergency reception centre has been set up at St Saviour’s Parish Hall to receive residents.

Grands Vaux primary school will remain closed on Wednesday.

Jersey Fire and Rescue are clearing drains and securing the area. There are further road closures in St Mary and St Martin due to standing water and some overflow from other reservoirs.

The Cavern in St Helier, which stores flood water, was full by 5am on Tuesday and water is now flowing into St Aubin’s Bay.

The Jersey Hospitality Association has issued an ‘urgent’ appeal for hotel accommodation for displaced residents.

In a Facebook post, they said: ‘You will have seen coverage in the news and on social media about boats and tractors being used to get Grands Vaux residents out of their flooded homes.

‘The government has been in contact with the JHA and asked us to make an urgent appeal for any hotel accommodation in the town area that people who have been made temporarily homeless by the flash floods can use.

‘They need up to 40 rooms for a minimum of one night, but it may be for up to a week. Some have already been put up in hotels but if you can help, please either contact Richard Corrigan on his email R.Corrigan@gov.je, or by calling Ana and Marcus on 07829 933393.’

Grands Vaux VIDEO: JON GUEGAN

Nataly Fay, who has lived in Nicholson Close, Grands Vaux, for 18 years, said: ‘It is usually our road which gets flooded but it is much worse this time. I am really worried.

‘Even though we put the flood barriers up it is still coming in – it is all through the house.

‘I have been flooded twice before but this is absolutely the worst I have seen. It is up to the knees now. Everything is going to be ruined. It’s just awful.’

Flooding in Grands Vaux and surrounding areas Picture: JON GUEGAN

Steve Ozouf, who lives in the Pillar Gardens estate at Grands Vaux, said that residents were concerned yesterday when they saw how full the nearby reservoir was.

Video by Ilidio Cunha

He said that when he returned home from work at 7am on Tuesday the flooding was ‘only a few inches deep’ and lapping at the wheels of a neighbour’s car. However, by around 10am, the bonnet of that same car was completely submerged.

Mr Ozouf said that residents are in desperate need of sandbags to prevent the water entering their properties, but only one pallet of sandbags has been located which is having to be shared between over a dozen houses. 

He said: ‘There’s just not enough sandbags to go around and we don’t know when more are coming. The sandbags are only a foot tall, and the water is already higher than that.’

The emergency services are in attendance, with water levels up to their waists in some places, but Mr Ozouf said that there not much anyone can do until more sandbags arrive. 

‘It’s not even safe to cross the street to help neighbours,’ he said. ‘There is so much water that the manhole covers have popped of the drains, so the firefighters are walking around with sticks out in front of them to make sure they don’t fall down a manhole.’

Grands Vaux VIDEO: JON GUEGAN

Jersey Met has also issued an ice warning for Tuesday night, with temperatures set to fall below freezing across the Island.

The flooding comes 24 hours after severe-gale-force winds brought down dozens of trees across the Island.

Islanders are being asked to report any further incidents of flooding to Jersey Fire and Rescue.

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