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Winchester continues to battle on against stormy weather
WINCHESTER doesn’t seem to be out of the water yet despite flood waters dropping by a clear foot overnight.
Hampshire fire assistant chief, Neil Odin, said this morning (February 14) that the metal barrier erected on Park Avenue has so far proven a success in holding the waters back.
He said: “The barrier is working. What we have to remember is that we are battling the elements here, and we don’t know how much rain is going to fall, or come from upstream.
“We are going up against a whole river which throws 15 tonnes of water a second in this direction.
“It’s important to remember that this isn’t a solution to Winchester’s flooding problems, but it does give us a holding position in this area.”
Winchester City Council has confirmed they have distributed a total of 15,000 in preparation for those areas most affected by the flooding.
In Easton, as many as 200 properties could be affected despite the one-tonne sandbags being laid.
Angela Forder-Stent, volunteer flood coordinator for Twyford Parish Council, said: “Many thanks also to the barrier watch teams who cheerfully stand in the cold and wet and manage the multitude of questions from motorists.
“The problem with the sewer is far worse when it rains so please keep usage to a minimum until at least a couple of hours after the rain has stopped.
“It is advised that you have a bucket or washing up bowl with a wash of disinfectant or bleach outside your door that your wellies can be dipped in. The most important message of all - wash hands thoroughly as soon as you get home.
“Until the Bourne subsides we will have all these problems so please be vigilant for the forseeable future.”
In Hambledon, water levels on roads remain high but a drop of 0.8m in 24 hours was recorded at the borehole at Broadhalfpenny Down on February 14.
An inch of rain is expected to fall today and tonight (February 14) with a further couple of inches on Sunday and Monday from the forthcoming storms.
Addressing the House of Parliament yesterday, George Hollingberry MP for Meon Valley, said: “Yesterday marked the passage of 40 days and 40 long nights since Hambledon was first flooded by emerging groundwater and no-one has any idea when the flooding will recede.
“Only through the titanic efforts of the local community and responding agencies have many of the houses in the village been saved thus far from inundation.
“But at huge cost to the lives of the residents. Every night they sleep in shifts to monitor their pumps. Every day they wake up wondering if today’s the day they will flood. The village is largely cut off from the rest of the world.”
Southern Water has confirmed the works previously carried out at Colden Common have been suspended for at least four more weeks.
Main Road, north of Church Lane, had been closed at the start of January for essential water works.
However, as a result of the ongoing flooding problems, Main Road has since partially re-opened to the public.
Colin Wright, principal transport officer for Hampshire County Council, said: “As you may now be aware, the closure of the section of Main Road for works by Southern Water has been suspended for at least four weeks, owing to the need to keep the road open to relieve pressure on the county council’s road network caused by flooding issues elsewhere.
“I have conveyed this information to both Brijan and Stagecoach and can now confirm that bus services 8 and 69 will revert to their normal routes and timetables from February 17. The shuttle buses on each route will cease after close of service on Saturday, February 15. The bus companies are responsible for communicating this more widely to their passengers and will have this in hand.
“School bus operators and schools have also been advised and routes have already returned to normal.
“I will continue to liaise with colleagues at Hampshire County Council and Southern Water regarding the new date for this closure, and with the bus companies regarding any measures that may be necessary for that period. A further update will be provided in advance of the closure taking place.”