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Manchetts begin ‘Operation Melon’ to rescue lorry on flooded Welney Wash Road

High water levels remain at Welney remain making recovery difficult

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Dubbed ‘Operation Melon’ after its cargo, the first attempt to retrieve the lorry abandoned on the Welney Wash Road got under way on Monday. Recovery experts from Cambridgeshire specialists Manchetts were called in by the lorry’s owners, Armour Transport, to attempt to bring it to safety.

However, with water levels on the road still high the first attempt was unsuccessful.

Manchetts staff weighing up the options to rescue lorry and container from flooded A1101 at Welney on the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border. PHOTO: Terry Harris

Manchetts staff weighing up the options to rescue lorry and container from flooded A1101 at Welney on the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border. PHOTO: Terry Harris

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Today the situation looks as grim although Facebook group Welney Flood Watch reports this morning that “river levels at Welney have now steadied and have been pretty much level overnight.

Manchetts staff weighing up the options to rescue lorry and container from flooded A1101 at Welney on the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border. PHOTO: Terry Harris

Manchetts staff weighing up the options to rescue lorry and container from flooded A1101 at Welney on the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border. PHOTO: Terry Harris

Manchetts staff weighing up the options to rescue lorry and container from flooded A1101 at Welney on the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border. PHOTO: Terry Harris

Manchetts staff weighing up the options to rescue lorry and container from flooded A1101 at Welney on the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border. PHOTO: Terry Harris

“Currently 3.79m just 4cm up on this time yesterday.

“Depth of flood water on the Wash road is obviously still deep at 1.44m/56.5 inches.”

Manchetts staff weighing up the options to rescue lorry and container from flooded A1101 at Welney on the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border. PHOTO: Terry Harris

Manchetts staff weighing up the options to rescue lorry and container from flooded A1101 at Welney on the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border. PHOTO: Terry Harris

Manchetts staff weighing up the options to rescue lorry and container from flooded A1101 at Welney on the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border. PHOTO: Terry Harris

Manchetts staff weighing up the options to rescue lorry and container from flooded A1101 at Welney on the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border. PHOTO: Terry Harris

Manchetts prides itself on its “expansive fleet of vehicles which provide everything from roadside breakdowns to major multi-vehicle incidents” but are realistic to the risks and water levels associated with such a delicate operation.

Manchetts staff weighing up the options to rescue lorry and container from flooded A1101 at Welney on the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border. PHOTO: Terry Harris

Manchetts staff weighing up the options to rescue lorry and container from flooded A1101 at Welney on the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border. PHOTO: Terry Harris

For drivers using local roads closure of the Welney Wash road continues as another road was closed in the area from yesterday to carry out repair works.

Manchetts staff weighing up the options to rescue lorry and container from flooded A1101 at Welney on the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border. PHOTO: Terry Harris

Manchetts staff weighing up the options to rescue lorry and container from flooded A1101 at Welney on the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border. PHOTO: Terry Harris

Anglian Water have closed Sixteen Foot closed between Padgetts Road and Manea/Wimblington Road for two months.

The situation was summed up by a post on the Christchurch community group which described roads in the area “as complete chaos” pointing out the difficulties not only in getting through to Huntingdon from the village but also to Cambridge because of road works and closures.

Manchetts staff weighing up the options to rescue lorry and container from flooded A1101 at Welney on the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border. PHOTO: Terry Harris

Manchetts staff weighing up the options to rescue lorry and container from flooded A1101 at Welney on the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border. PHOTO: Terry Harris

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Meanwhile Skylark Garden Centre at Wimblington has published a map showing routes for its customers from Christchurch, Upwell and Outwell to follow to ensure they can get to the popular venue safely and without interruption.

Manchetts staff weighing up the options to rescue lorry and container from flooded A1101 at Welney on the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border. PHOTO: Terry Harris

Manchetts staff weighing up the options to rescue lorry and container from flooded A1101 at Welney on the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border. PHOTO: Terry Harris

A colleague of the driver from Essex based Armour Transport stuck on the flooded Welney Wash road on the A1101 has sprung to his defence.

Gary says his colleague driver “swerved” to avoid a car coming towards him.

Manchetts staff weighing up the options to rescue lorry and container from flooded A1101 at Welney on the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border. PHOTO: Terry Harris

Manchetts staff weighing up the options to rescue lorry and container from flooded A1101 at Welney on the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border. PHOTO: Terry Harris

“He was driving like a *** and the lorry driver went near the edge of the road,” he posted to social media.

Gary says the edge of the road loomed and his colleague’s lorry “gave way and went into the ditch.

“Now the tide has come in, he is worried it is going to go over as his loaded box and trailer is sinking”.

He added: “It is not the lorry driver’s fault.”

Abandoned lorry on Welney Wash road, on the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border. PHOTO: Bav Media

Abandoned lorry on Welney Wash road, on the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border. PHOTO: Bav Media

Photos of the lorry prompted yet more warnings to drivers – of all types of vehicle – to avoid Welney and find a different route to cross from Cambridgeshire in Norfolk.

Abandoned lorry on Welney Wash road, on the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border. PHOTO: Bav Media

Abandoned lorry on Welney Wash road, on the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border. PHOTO: Bav Media

Welney Flood Watch says dozens of visitors were attracted to the village at the weekend to see the floods.

“It was nice to see so many visitors and villagers enjoying the spectacle yesterday afternoon, we just need a burger van now!!,” said the Facebook page administrator.

Abandoned lorry on Welney Wash road, on the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border. PHOTO: Bav Media

Abandoned lorry on Welney Wash road, on the Cambridgeshire/Norfolk border. PHOTO: Bav Media

But on a serious note, added: “For those that use the road, find another route this week.”

 

 

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