IT’S BEEN forty days and forty nights of extreme flooding for the worst flood-affected village in Hampshire.
Now residents in Hambledon are bracing themselves for more wet weather, with the Environment Agency sending further warnings about the significant impact of further rainfall on the already saturated ground.
It read: “A further 2-3 inches of rain is expected in the next few days and this is likely to cause levels at Broadhalfpenny Down to rise again.
“Groundwater levels in Hambledon village will remain high are likely to rise in response to individual rainfall events. Any particularly heavy rainfall will lead to direct runoff which will impact the village significantly.”
The village has seen 20,000 sandbags deployed over recent weeks, and approximately 1,000 pumps are in use.
Residents fear that the existence of these lifelines is wearing thin, with six weeks of continuous use and fairly minimal replacements available due to flooding elsewhere.
Tony Higham, chairman of the Hambledon flood action group, has said the village is “as ready as it will ever be”.
He said: “We haven’t had any power cuts, thank goodness.
“In the village levels in cellars have risen a bit more and the volume of water is now higher than ever and moving very fast in places. “Road surfaces are disintegrating under this powerful flow of water and springs erupting underneath. Recovery and repairs are going to be a long expensive business - when it comes.
“And today (February 12) we hit the 40 days and 40 nights mark - probably longer than anywhere else in UK.”
He reminded residents to have a spare pump to hand over the coming week, and to preserve sandbags as much as possible.