Millions of pounds are set to be spent on repairing roads damaged by the Christmas floods as part of Surrey County Council’s ongoing response to the recent severe weather.
Since storms led to burst riverbanks and wider flooding over Christmas and the New Year, the county council has worked around the clock to clear hundreds of flooded roads and fallen trees, and the county council’s fire and rescue service has responded to thousands of calls.
Now, as dozens of the county council’s inspectors continue to assess damage to Surrey’s roads, bridges, drains and footpaths, it estimates it will need to spend millions of pounds on repairs.
These repairs range from filling cracks and clearing debris to removing fallen trees, fixing bridges and repairing road surfaces, and the current repair bill could rise once the last flooded roads are reopened and inspectors can check the damage.
Last year Surrey County Council spent an extra £5 million from savings to fix roads damaged by ice and snow, which was on top of ongoing maintenance and the £100 million, five-year programme to overhaul 300 miles of the roads needing repairs the most.
Council leader David Hodge said: “We spent £5 million in savings to fix roads damaged by last winter’s snow and ice, and we’ll spend the money we need to so we can repair Surrey’s roads affected by the recent severe weather.
“We can’t put an exact figure on this repair bill yet, as we’re still assessing the full extent of the damage, but it will run into millions of pounds. In the meantime, we’re continuing to do all we can along with district and borough councils to help Surrey communities.”
The county council has:
• Taken more than 3,500 highways calls, with fire crews receiving another 2,000
• Responded to around 315 instances of flooding affecting roads
• Cleared 750 fallen trees
• Dealt with nearly 350 other incidents
• Supported vulnerable people through regular contact and home visits.
Residents and drivers are being urged to keep updated on flood alerts and weather warnings, to use caution when out and about and to check on any vulnerable neighbours they think may need help.