RRT Support St Jude’s Storm Clean Up

On Monday 28th October 2013 the Rapid Relief Team (RRT) was deployed by the emergency services to clear trees from blocked roads in the London area, due to the storm known as St Jude, sweeping through Britain with battering winds and rain, recording speeds of up to 82mph.

Plymouth Brethren - St Jude's Storm

Emergency services at a house in Hounslow where a tree collapsed causing a gas main to rupture

The RRT are a dedicated group of volunteers, who are tasked to support and assist the public in times of need. RRT members are located throughout the country, and are all members of the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church (PBCC).

Plymouth Brethren - St Jude's Storm

A car trapped underneath a fallen tree branch blocking the road in St John’s Wood (LNP)

At least four people were killed as result of St Jude’s hurricane-force winds which overwhelmed the UK, leaving a trail of destruction and damage in their wake, mostly in the south of the country.
Weather forecasters predicted wind speeds in excess of 80mph; a maximum of 12 on the Beaufort scale. The strongest recorded wind on land was witnessed at Langdon Bay, Kent, measuring 82mph. The second fastest wind was in Andrewsfield, Essex, at 79mph followed by Manston, Kent, at 70mph.

Plymouth Brethren - St Jude's Storm

RRT volunteer cutting through a huge tree to clear a blocked roadway in Hertfordshire

Following advance severe storm warnings, the RRT prepared teams of volunteers equipped with chainsaws, 4×4 vehicles, trailers, chippers and emergency supplies of food and drink. When the Police contacted the RRT at approximately 08.30hrs on Monday 28th October, the teams were primed and ready to assist.
The RRT worked hard throughout the day, moving from one location to the next, clearing blocked roads of strewn trees and debris and ensuring traffic could pass safely.

Plymouth Brethren - St Jude's Storm

RRT volunteer in the action

Residents in Hertfordshire were enthused and appreciative, speaking of the RRT’s efforts and their “professional and friendly manner.” The RRT and their voluntary work opened up the roads, allowing essential access to vulnerable elderly residents and emergency service vehicles.

Plymouth Brethren - St Jude's Storms

A commuter jumps over a fallen tree on his way to work (Reuters)

The emergency services requested further support from the RRT at 17:00hrs, and the volunteers willingly continued to work into the night.

The RRT was also readily available to serve refreshments to the emergency services after the occurrence of a fatal gas explosion in Hounslow, caused by a fallen tree. One of the police officers spoke of the team’s great efforts: “I know you didn’t get to hear the thanks, but I can tell you that about 20 to 30 officers and fire-fighters had a smile put on their faces and they thanked you without your knowledge. I echo that thanks.

Plymouth Brethren - St Jude's Storm

RRT volunteer cutting down a tree hanging over a street in Sutton, Surrey

St Jude’s Storm left many devastating effects across the south of the country, including:

A crane near Downing Street fell onto the Cabinet Office, causing Nick Clegg to cancel a press conference due to be held there.
• Dungeness B nuclear power station shut down both of its reactors after storm debris caused a loss of power.
• Virtually no trains in the south of England ran during rush hour, with severely limited service afterwards.
• 220,000 homes suffered power cuts as winds in excess of 80mph battered the South West, South, South East, the Midlands and the East of England.

Plymouth Brethren - St Jude's Storm

Team of RRT volunteers gather for a group photo in Bexleyheath, Kent

• More than 130 flights were cancelled from Heathrow Airport and four at Gatwick Airport, with the Gatwick and Stansted Express train services cancelled.
• The Port of Dover had to shut and ferries en route from France, carrying over 450 people, were forced to wait at sea.

Plymouth Brethren - St  Jude's Storm

RRT Tree cutting teams

 Meanwhile our teams carried on working, assisting anyone who needed support.

34 thoughts on “RRT Support St Jude’s Storm Clean Up”

  1. Ri says:

    It would be nice to have the pictures in higher res, or bigger anyway!

  2. TALK says:

    PLEASE let’s get the stuff on the website about what the Glasgow and other nearby RRT teams have done since the helicopter crash……..It was me started putting it on here as this was the most recent post I could find at that time. Over a week ago now…..But the memory of it is still fresh….Did RRT teams get to meet the Deputy PM and Prince Charles when they visited the site?

    1. Anon. says:

      As you will see, the ‘stuff’ is on the website now! The question at the end is completely irrelevant – the effort was a purely humanitarian one to provide the emergency services with refreshments. No hanging around to speak to high fliers.

  3. Wotcha says:

    How have the Scots and east coasters been doing in the past few days following storms and flooding…any pics/stories?

    1. Frog says:

      There were some very tough winds but as far as I know no rrt was needed.

    2. Cooper says:

      I think some may have been involved in sandbagging in East Anglia…

    3. TALK says:

      I don’t know about the east coast but down in Surrey and Kent the RRT’s were out in full force on Christmas day. Maidstone and areas of Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge, and Guildford and Godalming areas experienced severe flooding and the RRT teams were out there proving food and drink to the emergency services and others, clearing fallen trees…..and assisting with evacuations in places. This storm actually had more of an impact than the St. Jude’s one down here in the south!

    4. anony-mouse says:

      Yes, there have been a lot of trees down, which local RRT teams have been clearing…

  4. ZooKeeper says:

    Looks like the RRT don’t just put the time in but also have the resources at hand to do the job – large or small!!!

  5. Frontline says:

    Watch this space, RRT Glasgow and the help of others have been there since the helicopter first came down! Unbelievable scenes……

    1. NEP says:

      Great job!!! I heard about this tragic accident and was wondering if the RRT were doing anything to help (why did I doubt it???)

    2. Interested says:

      What a tragedy this helicopter crash is. I’m interested to see photos of what your team have been doing to help the police & emergency services. Have you got any? Sounds like they’ve been working ’round the clock!

    3. Frog says:

      Yeap!…we’ve worked 48 hours so far!!!

    4. Chef says:

      The emergency guys and girls are amazing! They deserved every barbecued bacon roll they got!!

    5. Watching&Waiting says:

      A lot of the RRT Glasgow Helicopter incident has got posted on the St Jude’s Storm Clean up. Is this a mistake? Watching for RRT Glasgow’s post…is there one still coming? A lot of emergency service people are out here waiting to blog!

    6. Me says:

      wots happened to the stuff on the RRT Glasgow … +1wk l8r and i’m still watching this space?!
      pls can we have something to tell us wot went on……. :)

    7. ZooKeeper says:

      I agree with ‘Me’

    8. Frog says:

      Yeah…I don’t mean to be rude but…where has it all got to…???

  6. TALK says:

    C’mon let’s see what we’re doing up in Glasgow with the helicopter crash……notice deputy first minister spoke of “many acts of kindness” of the public………..I BET that’s RRT Scotland!!!

    1. Frog says:

      Yeap….the Scottish rrt are working alright….all night and day

    2. Chef says:

      Loads of excellent comments from teams of emergency services regarding the excellent food and all the smiling faces. It was a difficult time for them as some of their own men and woman lost their lives in this tragedy.

  7. Grandad says:

    wow wow wow! all of u must have been SO tired at the end of it! v good work rrt!!

  8. up4stihl says:

    up4stihl!!!
    well done kids!!!
    awesome stuff!!!!!
    well done 2 rrt + stihl +landrover!!!!
    hello and kool stuff 2 will g

  9. sox says:

    nice pair of Landies!

  10. L.Jack says:

    As PSALM 74 verse 5 says, ‘ A man was known as he could lift up axes in the thicket of trees.’
    Nice work team..

  11. stihlisthebest says:

    nice one, I like the way that you are prepared to do anything. is there any chance that there could be some more pics and names of who done this great act.

  12. Mr says:

    Well done !!! :-)

  13. Best of British says:

    nice one will….

  14. mushroom says:

    well done besh!!!!!

  15. Bob says:

    Well done Ben

  16. Brookside says:

    Once again, well done RRT – keep up the good work!

  17. Granny says:

    Sure look very professional, this lot!!
    Sounds like they did an excellent job – Well done!!

  18. Grandad says:

    Looks like sum hard work! guess they w glad of your help!…

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