HOMES are being evacuated in Wallington near Fareham after flood defences failed.
A severe flood warning, meaning there is a danger to life, has been issued by the Environment Agency.
Officials said that they were organising the evacuation of 85 homes in the village ahead of high tide later this afternoon.
A statement from the agency said: ‘Wallington Village next to River Wallington will be evacuated imminently by Fareham Borough Council and the emergency services.
‘This is due to a failure in the Flood Defence around the village.
‘ The river is currently just below the top of the defence and cracks have formed in the wall.
‘’The river level is very high and will remain so for some time. If the cracks become bigger and the wall fails catastrophically the village will inundated rapidly. Please taken action now. ‘
Some residents were trapped in their houses as the River Wallington burst its banks earlier thoday.
Around 50 houses in the village have deployed flood defences.
The defences were given to the houses most at risk as part of a government grant 18 months ago.
Claire Nash, 40, who has lived in one of those houses for the past four years, said: ‘My son is out in the garden helping the neighbours to deploy their defences. Our back defence is not working properly and some water is coming in. It is very scary. We have moved the Christmas tree and presents upstairs. Our garden is so long we never thought the water would get so high. We thought we would be safe.’
High tide is due at 4.32pm and this is expected to further add to the existing flood water.
The Environment Agency issued flood warnings earlier this morning.
David Walton of Wallington Village Community Association is the flood coordinator for the village. He said: ‘The flood warning was only issued this morning, but because it had been raining all night we had deployed them earlier and thankfully we had or it would have been much worse.’
Scott Mills, a coastal engineer from the eastern Solent coastal partnership was monitoring the effectiveness of the defences which they had helped install.
He said: ‘The main concerns is that the flow is exceptionally high in comparison to normal and we still have a relatively low tide which means we will need to keep monitoring closely.’
Two cars were submerged towards the north end of the village.
Jon King, 26, from Riverside Avenue, said: ‘It hasn’t stopped raining all yesterday and today. It’s never been this bad. It is not the first time this has happened but it’s definitely the worst I’ve ever seen.’
Wallington last experienced floods to this extent in 2000. A foot bridge that caused flooding to nearby housing when it became caught up with debris in 2000, has since been raised and water was passing approximately 30cm below.
Staff from Fareham Borough Council and the Environment Agency were keeping a close eye on the bridge.
Police have cordoned off the roads in the village.
And junction 10 of the M27 has been closed off as the road under the motorway is also flooded.
The Environment Agency issued the following advice to residents:
- Make sure customers and colleagues are safe and accounted for.
- Be prepared for power cuts and loss of services.
- Stay in a high place with a means of escape.
- Be ready should you need to evacuate from the building or area. Co-operate with the emergency services and call 999 if you are in immediate danger.
Call Floodline on 0845 988 1188 using quickdial 012234 for up-to-date flooding information.
The Environment Agency website contains details of river level and flooding information and can be accessed at environment-agency.gov.uk.