I am grateful, therefore, to New Holland Construction for this series of photographs showing their machines at work on flood response work across the continent.
A wide range of New Holland machines, from large excavators to small compact machines, have been helping to repair and clean-up towns and cities affected by the recent storms and floods.
AS we know all too well, the south coast of England experienced some of the most ferocious storms last month. As part of the clean-up and repair of the sea defences in Weymouth, Dorchester-based G Crook has supplied a New Holland E385 excavator to the Environment Agency, which has been working to reinstate the shingle sea defences at Preston beach (pictured above).
In the last few weeks Spain’s northern coast has also suffered several storms from the North Atlantic with many Spanish provinces on high alert. With wind gusts reaching 140km/h, combined with heavy and constant rain, several rivers have caused flooding in cities along the north coast. Waves of more than 10m have caused damage to sea walls and seafront promenades.
In the City of Gijon on the northern coast of Spain, local authority highway contractor Ruvicam sent several of its New Holland machines to repair initial damage of the seafront promenade, before another incoming storm made the situation worse.
“After several days of working to repair the damage, we parked one of our mini excavators – an E35.2 – in the promenade, ready to continue,” says Ruvicam manager José Luis Vigil Sánchez. “But the storm got worse and spectacular waves managed to break down the wave breaker wall. These wave breakers are used to protect the sea promenade. This was then flooded and the machine was soaked.
“We picked it up, washed it with fresh water and lubricated it. Despite the dip, it is continuing to working as well as on the first day.”
He adds: “We have a total of three New Holland machines working; the E35.2 mini excavator is equipped with a small hammer to chip the pavement off the promenade. A top wall beam will be placed here in order to re-attach the wave breakers to the seawall. The New Holland E80 midi excavator has been equipped with a special implement, which allows us to remove and place the wave breakers again. Each of these pieces weighs 700 kilos, which was a difficult task.
“Last but not least, an E50.2 is working on the rest of the ruined wall, where it is being used to extract stones of between 200kg and 400kg buried in the sand.”
At the end of January Italy was struck by violent rains that led to serious floods and emergency situations in Emilia Romagna, Tuscany and Liguria. A total of 2,000 emergency operations were carried out by firefighters around the regions to help during the emergency – often with New Holland equipment helping out.
Some of the worst flooding happened in Modena area where the river Secchia broke its banks. More than 1,000 people had to be rescued from flooded homes, 80 of them by helicopter. The fire brigade has a special division called the Gruppo Operativo Speciale Movimento Terra, or GOS, that operates earthmoving equipment. It soon had the river banks reinstated to prevent further flooding.
In Tuscany and Liguria, which was also severely hit by floods and following landslides, the GOS carried out more than 600 operations to help remove water from homes, clean rivers and repair damaged roads.
New Holland Construction machines in use included several skid steer loaders, mini-excavators and some larger crawler excavators were also there to help bring the situation under control.
New Holland Construction has a long-standing relationship supplying Italian fire brigades and has also manufactured machines specially fitted for the needs of the firefighters. They are also used for natural disasters, to secure the area and demolish and to remove ruins. During Emilia Romagna earthquake in 2013, for example, New Holland machines were used to demolish more than 400 damaged buildings.