THe Parish Council has set up a small flood co-ordinating group to co-ordinate relief activity where necessary and to liaise with outside agencies. We are in regular contact with Hampshire Highways, Fire and Rescue, Test Valley Borough Council, Environment Agency and Southern Water and they have visited us to provide practical asistance and advice. This will continue.
We have activated part of the Community Resilience Plan, a copy of which can be found on the website. The co-ordinating group comprises Richard Harwood (01264 810 314), John Werrett (01794 389311) and Peter Storey (01794 389688).
Although there is some evidence of sewage seeping into the ground water drains and therefore onto the surface where these are overflowing, AND CHILDREN SHOULD NOT PLAY IN THESE AREAS, Southern Water assure us the risk of contamination to drinking water in the home is minimal as the water comes from the aquifer near Timsbury which is functioning normally.
TVBC are supplying sand bags on a priority basis and when delivered will be located by the recycling centre on the recreation ground, near Camp Field and at the entrance to Old Vicarage Lane. They will also respond to individual requests - 01264 368000
Further information can also be obtained from the Environment Agency by clicking here
Thursday 13 February 0840hrs
UPDATE THURSDAY 13 FEBUARY 1445hrs
Car parking is available on the Cemetery entry road and on New Lane away from flood waters if you need this. Tony Knight at Farthings on Romsey Road can also accommodate up to 4 cars on his front drive.
Volunteer Flood Wardens have been established to keep an eye on their local areas. They are -
Sandy Pepperell - 01794 388021 - Nutcher's Drove
Dick Dyke - 01794 388525 - Old Vicarage Lane
David Hayden - 01794 388120 - Muss Lane
John Werrett - 01794 389311 - Camp Field and adjacent parts of Winchester Road
Roger Jackson - 07866 568831 - Winchester Road
Geoff Herbert - 01794 388688 - Romsey Road south
Gordon Pearson - 01794 388662 - Romsey Road north
Roy Curtis - 01794 389373 - Horsebridge Road
Peter Storey - 01794 389688 - Cow Drove Hall and surrounds
Robbie Lane - 01794 388792 - Up Somborne
Brian Gravenor - 07570 883907 - Riverside Green
White & Co are offering special rate to those who wish to store household effects away from the water. Dick Dyke has more information on 01794 388525.
Sewage risk - sewage and groundwater continue to mix above road level although we hope to have some pumping equipment in the village early next week to ease the pressure on the sewage disposal system.
Mobile toilets - Ace Liftaway has been in touch. Contact is Kevin Prince 07964 903613. I think the hire charge is £20 per week plus VAT.
Yesterday's power cut - caused by a fallen tree breaking the overhead power lines affecting the north of the area followed by a lightning strike at Houghton which affected the south.
Update Friday 14 February 1600hrs
More sandbags have been delivered to the Village Hall car park and on the bridge at the corner of Old Vicarage Lane. Please use sparingly.
A mobile toilet is being delivered to the entrance to Muss Lane for those who are unable to use their WCs.
The Environment Agency has visited to give advice and record the high levels of water. It is unlikely the tree blocking the water flow to the south of the village will be removed unless there is a danger to life because of the difficulty in getting cutting equipment to the site.
Update Saturday 15 February 1230hrs
Tractor available - Peter Grace has a tractor available to help where necessary. Tel 07852 634685
Accommodation to rent -
Winchester flat - Kim Aziz - £850 per month - 07703 345402
Hyde room to rent with en-suite - e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Portal Road - shared house - Graham Smith - e-mail: Imhassociates1@btinternet.com
Winchester, Green Park Cllose - 2 bed flat with large gartage for storage - e-mail: email@example.com
Mobile toilet now delivered to Muss Lane but be warned it blew over in the night!
Road closures - Traffic Order formally closing Winchester Road and Old Vicarage Lane remains in force despite overnight fall in water level
Ford depth - currently 2ft 5 inches
Sewage and ground water continue to mix due to overflowing pipes - be aware.
Update Monday 17 February 14.30hrs
Water pump - Southern Water, Hants County Council and the Environment Agency met on-site this morning to review the effectiveness of installing a pump to help clear the water from the flooded areas but took the decision that, with the amount of water yet to come off the surrounding hills and the narrowness of some parts of the Borne. the pump would be ineffective. As a result, the water levels will be left to their own devices. This is also the view of Southern Water so far as pumping out the pump station on Old Vicarage Lane is concerned.
They did confirm that ground water and sewage continued to mix in flooded areas and as a result everyone should take care to wash hands etc and children should be discouraged from playing in these waters.
Visitors - We are getting tourists to see the flood waters. Although we cannot stop this, it behoves us all to keep an eye open for unwanted visitors with sinister intent now some properties are empty. Test Valley Borough Council employ 'Neighbourhood Wardens' and one such person is Katarzyna Slawska who has left business cards around the area and can be identified by her TVBC ID card. Her contact number is 01264 368638/07748 980279.
Warning signs - HCC will deliver more traffic signs warning traffic to go slow and they will introduce pinch points to squeeze the traffic into reducing speed - and reduce the risk of annoying bow waves.
More accommodation - The Old Barns holiday accommodation is available at Brook. Contact Rob and Sarah Powell e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01794 389398.
Update Wednesday 19 February 1930hrs
The Environment Agency with TVBC and HCC will commence work during the night of 19/2 to
reduce water flows in the Somborne Stream by installing water filled
tubing upstream of the ford to hold water back and allow water
downstream of the Ford to better drain. Land owners affected have been
Update Saturday 22 February 1700hrs
You may have heard a variety of plans discussed during the past couple of days with some of them implemented such as the sandbags down the centre of Winchester Road to give a wider surface for the water to flow downstream. This plan has met with some opposition from drivers having to reverse and generated comment and concern that the water flowing off the hills to the south did not have anywhere to go except flood the remaining road. Tomorrow (Sunday) these bags will be removed and used to strengthen other areas already sandbagged where necessary.
Tomorrow, the Environment Agency will also be cutting back much of the tree growth overhanging the Borne to allow the water to flow unimpeded.
The plan to form 'lakes' upstream with large bags and booms to hold back the water and thus allow the flooded areas downstream to clear will not now go ahead. It seems that the water is flowing at a rate of 2 cubic meters per secod which is enough to fill one olympic size swimming pool every minute which is assessed as impracticable to hold back.
Drivers are still driving too fast through the floodwaters and causing bow waves which in turn add to the misery of adjacent housing and pedestrians. The local flooded roads are closed to traffic and the ford in particular as one Audi driver found to his cost. Please encourage errant drivers to slow down for their benefit and ours.
Test Valley Borough Council has a multi-agency response cell operating 24 hours a day for help and housing needs. If in need, their number is 01264 368000.
Update Friday 28 February 1600hrs
Not much has changed over the past few days. The flood wters continue to rise and fall according to how much rain has fallen. There was a suggestion that the sandbags along the middle of Winchester Road and the traffic lights near Martin's Shop be removed as no longer being necessary but we have resisted this in the knowledge that the next heavy downpour will result in the road flooding again and the bags are there to widen the surface area thus allowing more water to flow downstream. Discourteous drivers still ignore the road closed signs and travel too fast through the surface water to the annoyance of adjacent house dwellers and pedestrians.
Southern Water came up with a plan to pipe sewage from the Old Vicarage Lane pumping station along the road surface and across the A3057 into the stream on the other side. This would have reduced the outflow of contaminated waste water at the entrance to Nutchers Drove and on Old Vicarage Lane especially as only one of the two pumps in their pumping station is working. However, this seems to require permission from the Environment Agency which at the moment is not forthcoming. Interestingly, other management levels within the EA say this permission is not necessary so we are pressing for action!
The EA did turn up last weekend to cut off branches from trees which overhung the stream and impeded the water flow. This had an immediate beneficial effect on water flow rates. The Army were also present to assist as was the Fire Service should anyone have fallen in (as one soldier did).
Addresses of vacant properties have been made known to the Tactical Reponse Group at Test Valley Borough Council and to the Police for their information and action. However, do keep an eye on your neighbour's property should it be vacant for any unwanted activity.
Update Wednesday 5 March 0900hrs
The weather forecast for the next few days is on our side and water levels are dropping although unfortunately some properties remain flooded. The ford depth has dropped 6 inches in the last three days and now stands at two feet; the surrounding roads remain closed for the time being.
Hants County Council will remove the sandbags and traffic lights along the Winchester Road later in the week as the need for a wider surface area to allow more water to flow downstream has disappeared. The road will then be swept to remove the sand and surface stones etc but drivers should remain aware that some properties with underground springs are still having to discharge onto or across the road and into the stream. I have asked that the serviceable sandbags be used to strengthen or raise the banks of the stream, where appropiate, to contain the waters in future.
Southern Water now plan to lay a 6 inch diameter pipe across Old Vicarage Lane to take the surplus surface water away from the area of their pumping station and into the Borne down stream by the A3057 bridge to allow the pumps removing the sewage to work more effectively. This should then remove the contaminated water at the entrance to Nutcher's Drove and allow toilets to flush properly. At the moment, one of the two pumps in the pumping station is u/s which has aggravated the situation. The surface drainage pipe will be supported by a generator so some noise will be heard and a ramp will be installed to protect the pipe from passing vehicles.
Update Thursday 6 March 1300hrs
Southern Water hase now installed the pump and pipe to alleviate the water pressure on the sewage pumping station in Old Vicarage Lane. The pump will run intermittently according to the level of water to be moved and is located near to the grit bin in Old Vicarage Lane. The pipe runs over Old Vicarage Lane and is protected by a steep ramp at this point and drivers of small cars should take extra care and approach very slowly to avoid the risk of grounding. It is anticpated that later today, tarmac will be laid to reduce the incline of the ramp to reduce this risk of grounding. Further along Old Vicarage Lane is the extractor unit which takes out the grit in the water before it drains into the Borne under the A3057.
Fortunately, the water levels continue to drop very slowly.
Update Thursday 13 March 1210hrs
The fine wearther continues to help us dry out and the pump and pipework installed by Southern Water along Old Vicarage Lane to drain the pumping station and reduce the pressure from the ground water is working well. Motorists are still using Winchester Road which officially remains closed. The Ford is down to 2 feet deep at the moment and severe road surface water remains at the Little Somborne junction. The mobile toilet in Muss Lane is being removed and anyone wishing to pass comments on their experiences or on the flooding in general should e-mail me at email@example.com
Update Monday 24 March 1245hrs
Water levels continue to drop and the pump in Old Vicarage Lane continues to reduce the pressure on the sewage pumping station. However, the pump is pressure activated and there will be times when the water levels are high leading to overflowing manhole covers yet the pump has yet to activate. Unfortunately, this can result in toilets not flushing in the houses adjacent to Romsey Road and the only advice available is to ring Southern Water and complain.
The Ford water level was down to 1ft 10inches when last checked and the Winchester Road is passable at this point but only with very severe difficulty at the Little Somborne junction.
The Government has introduced a scheme whereby donated kettles, toasters and fridge/freezers are on offer to those in need. Test Valley Borough Council is co-ordinating this at local level and needs to know of any such requests before Friday 28 March. Telephone James Moody on 01264 368130.
The Borough Council crisis management centre has now closed down and this will be the last update relating to the present flooding crisis. The Parish Council's sympathies go out to all those affected by the recent adverse extreme weather. Roll on Summer!