Community pulls together to tackle 'flash floods' in Sutton Scotney

Hampshire Chronicle: Troops arrive to help the villagers. To the left can be seen parish clerk, Sue Hedges, whose efforts have been praised by residents. Troops arrive to help the villagers. To the left can be seen parish clerk, Sue Hedges, whose efforts have been praised by residents.

RESIDENTS in a Hampshire village have described the “flash floods” that swept through their homes.

On Thursday (Feb 14) there were soldiers on the streets of Sutton Scotney to help reinforce the sandbank barriers that went up earlier in the week.

The Post Office, the Coach and Horses pub, and several cottages were all flooded.

One couple from Sutton Scotney, Jo and Ed Phillips, of Witts Cottage, described watching thousands of litres of water flooding into their home.

“It came up to my ankle. It was a bit scary and you just do not know how fast it was going to keep coming up,” said Mrs Phillips.

Clive Wilson, 50, and his wife Penny, 40, live at Pear Tree Cottage, which was one of the worst affected buildings.

Mr Wilson said: “It’s very sad, I must say. My wife is very upset about the whole thing. It’s not a nice feeling.”

Mr Wilson said the villagers had pulled together and firefighters have been helping people move furniture and tack bags and pump their properties.

But he questioned whether lessons have truly learnt from the floods of 2000, after which a new storm drain was fitted. That has not been able to cope.

“It is exceptional circumstances but as a village we have got to allow for that and work to the worst case scenario,” he said.

Winchester City Councils head of new homes delivery, Andrew Palmer, has been assigned to the village to support them and liaise with the control in Winchester.

“I was out here in the morning and the water just came up in no time. It was just ‘whoosh!’ Staggering, really,” he said.

Parish clerk Sue Hedges said she has been impressed by the community spirit.

“We had young and old out here in the pouring rain well after dark, stacking sandbags,” she said.

In Littleton Dozens of portaloos were delivered to residents after 100 houses in North Drive, Pitter Close, Fyfield Way and South Drive, were left without toilets and washing facilities.

That number was expected to rise to 132 by Friday (FEB 14) as ground water continued to rise in South Drive.

Meanwhile the Environment Agency sought to repeat the success of its pioneering solution at Easton, where they eased pressure on the city by slowing two streams with giant sandbags and flooding adjacent fields.

In Romsey north of the Dukes Head pub, they are plaicing huge sandbags to divert channels of water from Fishlake Stream, easing the flow of water into the town.

Mike O'Neill, an operations manager at the Environment Agency, said today: “It's critical now. We're all working really hard and levels are lower, but we're expecting another 35ml of rain. On top of what we've already had, that is critical now.

“Winchester and Romsey are the areas we're really focused on because they have the greatest number of houses and we encourage people to take action themselves too, to protect their own property,” he said.

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