STRONG demands were made today for the authorities to carry out a £1m flood protection scheme.
The plea came as several bungalows in Selangor Avenue, Emsworth, were swamped by water in the early hours of yesterday.
Residents were woken as flood water burst into the back of their homes, destroying furniture, carpets and electrical items.
Firefighters were called to Emsworth at 3.30am after 2ft-deep water flowed down a field backing on to the A27.
Neighbours frantically tried to move valuables to their lofts, but are today counting the cost of the damage, expected to run into many tens of thousands of pounds.
Yesterday was the third major flood in two years and comes after residents have been calling on the Environment Agency to improve drainage by building two water storage ponds.
One would be at the back of Selangor Avenue and another near Emsworth recreation ground.
But the Environment Agency has said it has a funding gap and needs to find another £400,000 to pay for the £1m scheme.
Gordon Coleman, 70, who lives in one of the bungalows that was flooded, said: ‘The water came through into the conservatory at first and through the French doors. It filled up and then came into the kitchen. We have tried to put as much stuff as we can into the loft. We have got no heating, no power, no electrics and no phone – nothing.’
He added: ‘As soon as we get heavy rain it swamps the system. I can’t understand why people won’t do anything about this.’
A field adjacent to the flooded field is also being eyed up by Barratt Homes for a 130-home development, but residents are adamant that more homes will worsen the problem.