Flooding chaos in Hambledon

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DILUTED sewage has started to pour through a village after groundwater levels have risen.

Persistent rain over the last two days means many homes are within inches of being flooded.

The flooding, which is now swamping the village’s roads, is mixed with raw sewage from a pumping station malfunctioning.

Villagers are prepared as their properties have flood cellars, but many of these cellars are now threatening to overspill.

Water is starting to trickle into the house of 102-year-old Ena Brown, of West Street, and furniture has had to be moved.

Tony Higham, chairman of Hambledon Flood Action Group, said: ‘We have got water coming out of every orifice and we have diluted sewage spewing through the village.

‘There’s water all over the roads.

‘There’s water in about 50 to 60 flood cellars and there must be 10 properties within inches of being flooded.’

Pumps are working round-the-clock to stop homes being swamped with water.

Mr Higham said Mrs Brown was staying in her property and was being helped by her daughter.

‘She has lived in the property all her life and has seen flooding before, but it doesn’t make it any easier,’ said Mr Higham.

Leaks in underground pipes means that all the rainfall is mixed in with sewage, overloading the network.

The pumping station normally runs at 30 per cent capacity, but is at full capacity.

Officials at Southern Water said the company had already invested £160,000 to seal sewers in the southern half of the village.

They said the pumping station, which has had new pipes installed, had been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of rain.

A spokesman added said the pumping station would be run manually until it can be fixed.

A clean-up operation is also planned.