INTENSE rain left parts of Winchester city centre and suburbs under floodwater this afternoon.

The drains could not cope in the lower part of the High Street, despite major improvement work several years that was supposed to address the problem.

Winchester police tweeted: "Lots of flooding around the City at this time. Many roads are blocked or slow so please be patient. HCC are already out unblocking drains. Please consider all pedestrians on footpaths."

More rain is expected tomorrow before Storm Francis peters out.

Hampshire Chronicle: Cranworth RoadCranworth Road

Winchester Independents, which promotes independent shops, tweeted: "Areas of Winchester have been hit by flooding today. My sympathies for anyone who is now dealing with flood water. It looks like quite a few properties at the bottom of the high street have been affected."

A health worker, who asked not to be named, said: "I parked by the Guildhall around 5,30pm to go to M&S and it was carnage. There was no route into town. The water was several feet deep. Tourists were asking me if there were other routes to their hotels."

Flash flooding was also reported in Weeke, Harestock, Fulflood, Lower Stanmore and St Cross.

Bus services to the city's bus station were disrupted because of flooding to the Broadway.

Winchester Services on the southbound M3 was also closed due to flooding.

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As reported elsewhere on this website rail travellers were hit by a mudslip at Micheldever which blocked the main line.

A number of South Western Railway services between London Waterloo and the south coast have been cancelled after the landslip, which came just after heavy showers struck the region.

Replacement bus services are operating between Basingstoke and Southampton, whilst CrossCountry services are being diverted via Salisbury.

Other services from the New Forest and Dorset are being diverted via Havant.

The company warned that disruption was expected to continue "until the end of the day".

In a statement SWR said: "We have been informed of a landslip between Micheldever and Winchester. This means that all lines are currently blocked between these stations.

"Until further notice, the following alterations may apply: "Services between London Waterloo and Bournemouth may be diverted via Havant.

"We have also requested replacement buses between Basingstoke and Southampton Central. Once these are confirmed, start times and locations will be updated/ "For further information or onward travel advice please speak to a member of staff or use a station help point.

"We are very sorry for any delay that this may cause to your journey."