RESIDENTS in Winchester and the surrounding villages should do all they can to prepare for even more wet weather over the weekend.

With even more rain forecast for the next 24 hours residents are being urged to prepare for a possible repeat of the flooding that caused chaos for many houses back in 2001.

Winchester district received an average of 13.5mm of rainfall over the last twelve hours.

The Environment Agency issued flood warnings after the River Itchen bursts its banks early yesterday morning (February 7) and residents living on Water Lane, Durngate Terrace, Park Avenue and North Walls in the city centre have been put on high alert should water levels continue to rise.

Residents in Twyford have been advised to avoid using their dishwashers and flushing their toilets as a result of backed up sewage and some houses in Hursley were pumping water from their cellars well into yesterday evening.

Springvale Road in Kings Worthy is partially submerged at the King Charles pub and temporary traffic lights have been installed.

The bottom of Beeches Hill in Bishop’s Waltham has been flooded as have parts of Owsleybury Bottom, Meonstoke, Tichborne, North Boarhunt, Micheldever, Cheriton, Bramdean, Exton, Hambledon and Down Farm Lane in Headbourne Worthy.

Simon Jones, Highways Agency regional director, said: “Although our network has coped well we continue to monitor all our roads closely so we can act quickly when flooding occurs. Wherever possible we are also supporting other agencies in dealing with the wider problems caused by the severe weather.”

Hampshire County Council has deployed thousands of sandbags in preparation for further rainfall across the weekend.

Councillor Seán Woodward, executive member for economy, transport and environment at Hampshire County Council, said: “Our priority is to protect Hampshire’s highways in this very difficult situation.

“Frontline teams have been working round the clock to keep on top of the on-going weather problems on the roads, dealing with flooding, fallen trees and emergency repairs.

“We will continue to do all we can with extra teams, gully-emptiers and sandbags but the ground is so saturated now, and the rivers so full, there is really nowhere else for further rainfall to go.

“We are working closely with the Environment Agency and applying to government to secure funding for immediate repairs, and for support with major flood relief schemes to help mitigate against this extreme weather in the future. We continue to work with our partners at district councils, and the emergency services to deal with the situation across the county, caused by the most significant winter rainfall in nearly 250 years.

“Our teams have been particularly busy in Winchester, Eastleigh, Romsey, Hambledon, the Candovers, Breamore and Kings Worthy and will be working non-stop, wherever they are needed.

“We are expecting heavy rain and strong winds again overnight, with no respite over the weekend, and so I’m afraid significant further disruption on the roads can be expected.

“I would ask all residents to take extra care when driving, to allow more time for their journeys as delays and diversions are likely across the county, and to be mindful of other road users.

“I would also ask that residents look out for vulnerable members of their community during these circumstances, and to please get in touch with us if they have any concerns.”