Cumbria & Lancashire

Flooded river in Cumbria
Flooded river in Cumbria

BT launched a pan-BT operation to help the community and restore services in Cumbria after storm Desmond delivered a record-breaking 341mm of rainfall in just twenty four hours. The storm delivered a devastating blow to Cumbria over-running flood defences to inundate thousands of homes and businesses while washing away bridges and causing roads to subside.

Our major incident management (MIM) team dealt with an increasing number of exchanges at risk of losing service. The Emergency Response Team (ERT), was deployed to assist our engineers in the Cumbria area. They took flood defence kits and communication response units to help across the exchanges at risk.

BT Facilities Services tackled extensive flooding in both Carlisle and at the Telephone Exchange in Kendal.

Flooded telephone exchange in Cumbria
Flooded telephone exchange in Cumbria

Montage ERT vehicle providing emergency satellite phone for the Glenridding village
Montage ERT vehicle providing emergency satellite phone for the Glenridding village

The main bridge into Glenridding was washed away which took our fibre cables with it depriving the village of landline and broadband services. BT’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) set up a vehicle near the local bus shelter to provide an emergency satellite phone for the village, restoring 999 capability and providing police communications. Openreach engineers showing great ingenuity and with the use of a fishing rod, managed to get a line across the river which they used to get a temporary cable across the flooded river, attached to trees on either side.

The rapid response team had its work cut out and had a lot of faults to fix in the ensuing days.

Prince Charles praised BT’s efforts when he visited Cumbria in the aftermath of Storm Desmond, and the Governments flood minister Rory Stewart who accompanied him had glowing praise about Openreach and BT’s performance.

York & Newton Stewart

The Christmas and New Year proved to be a very busy time for BT teams when Storms Eva and Frank struck the UK, and this had major impact on the BT network. Flooding to York and Newtown Stewart Exchanges resulted in a loss of Telephone and Broadband services to many customers. The Tadcaster Bridge partially collapsed and Elland Bridge was under threat of collapse and both of these bridges carry BT services. Engineers worked around the clock in extremely difficult conditions to restore services and reroute cables.

Montage of storm damage following storms Eva and Frank
Montage of storm damage following storms Eva and Frank

Braemar & Crathie

Road washed away by swollen river
Road washed away by swollen river

On New Year’s Day the River Dee washed away a 500 metre section of the A93 west of Ballater causing damage to multiple fibre and copper cables, resulting in the loss of Telephone and Broadband services to BT Exchanges in Braemar and Crathie.

The Emergency Response Team were dispatched to Braemar to provide communications support and the Red Cross Satellite Comms vehicle provided support at Crathie. Openreach Engineers worked tirelessly over the weekend installing temporary cabling and service to both Braemar and Crathie was fully restored as quickly as possible given the extensive work required.  

More ERT at work stories

We can respond to any incident as a first on scene responder to feedback an initial situation report, providing pictures and video as required to the MIM. We can also act as liaison for the emergency services.

ERT vehicles

CRU Supporting the Fire Service at an incident on Saddleworth Moor

Tidal surge barriers in position

East Coast Tidal Surge (January 2017)

In January 2017 the east coast of the UK was subject to gov agency warnings (Mat Office, SEPA, EA) of coastal and river flood risk.

Command unit setup

Command Unit Setup for a Joint Service Exercise

Scottish storms

Scottish storms January/February 2015

BT engineers praised for their work during the Scottish Storms 2015. 

ERT vehicle in situ following exchange fire

Dalleagles villagers back online after BT exchange blaze

BT responded swiftly to restore service to the villagers of Dalleagles

BT 4WD Emergency Response Vehicle at Lough Side

Island communities cut off due to malicious damage

On Thursday 7 June, BT experienced loss of services to several remote off shore communities in the North West Highlands of Scotland. 

Emergency Response Vehicles deployed to Welwyn Garden City

BT Teams brave Arctic conditions to restore 999 services after malicious cable attack

When Welwyn Garden City exchange experienced a partial community isolation back in early Feb 2012, BT mobilised resources from across the business to respond and restore services.