Staff from Test Valley Borough Council have worked around the clock since Friday to provide more than 8,000 sandbags to residents, businesses and highways teams affected by flooding across the borough.
The council opened its customer services unit over the weekend to manage calls relating to the floods and set up its emergency control centre on Saturday morning. This has been operating 24 hours a day to deal with flooding issues affecting the borough. The centre helps coordinate the response of partner agencies across Test Valley, including Hampshire County Council, Environment Agency, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, Hampshire Constabulary and Southern Water.
Romsey residents identified as living in properties which have been, or have the potential to be, flooded as a result of the worst winter rainfall in almost 250 years received a hand delivered letter yesterday. The letter provided guidance and information about how to protect homes and the steps people should take should flooding occur. The authority also deployed housing staff to liaise with residents whose homes are at risk, to identify where there is a need to provide accommodation.
Other parts of the borough have also been affected by the flooding and the authority is working with those communities, local councillors and partner agencies to coordinate the response.
Councillor Ian Carr, leader of Test Valley Borough Council, said: “I would like to say a massive thank you to all those involved in the flooding response. All agencies are working incredibly hard to protect residents, businesses and properties.
“I would also urge the public to take extra care as the situation continues. Groundwater is expected to continue to rise over the coming days and weeks, and as the River Test is groundwater fed this creates its own set of problems. We will continue to do all we can to manage the situation and help those affected.”
Residents at risk of flooding can help protect themselves and their homes in a number of ways, including:
- Removing all furniture and valuables from the ground floor or raising them off the floor.
- Making their own sandbags by placing one plastic bag inside another and then filling it with soil.
- Unplugging any non-essential electrical items
- Avoiding walking through flood water, as the water can cause man hole covers to come off leaving hidden dangers.
- Avoiding driving through flood water as bow waves can cause damage to properties and just 30cm of water can float a car.
- Hiring pumps from local companies to help clear water from basements. Please note that any fuel-driven equipment should not be used indoors as petrol and diesel pumps and generators emit carbon monoxide within the exhaust gases, and these can be deadly. If you are using any fuel-driven device within two metres of your home ensure that all doors and windows are kept shut.
Sandbags are available free of charge to those at imminent risk of flooding. Any residents requiring sandbags are asked to contact the council on 01264 368000 or 01794 527700.
It is expected that this situation will continue into next week. Keep checking the latest information from the Environment Agency, local authority websites, social media and local radio.