Man rescued from car stuck in flood waters

Severe flooding at Fishbourne Road East in Chichester
Severe flooding at Fishbourne Road East in Chichester
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A man was dramatically rescued today after his car was stuck in flood waters.

Fire crews from Fareham and Cosham were called just before midday when the car become stuck in deep water in a ford on Purbrook Heath Road on Portsdown Hill, near Purbrook.

Water running off from nearby fields had entered the vehicle and was at seat height when the emergency services were alerted. Firefighters successfully rescued the male occupant and lead him to safety at 12.24pm.

It was one of several flooding dramas across the area as torrential rain fell unabated.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service Area Manager for Community Safety Mick Crennell said: ”Crews carried out a risk assessment, established that there was saveable life and took swift action to conduct this recue. This incident high lights the dangers of attempting to drive through deep water and it gives an indication of how quickly the situation can change and become life threatening.

‘Your vehicle may be swept away or become stranded. Vehicles can float away in just two feet of water. If your vehicle stalls, leave it immediately if safe to do so and seek higher ground. Do not travel in heavy rain storms unless absolutely necessary.’

Other calls to the fire service included:-

9.46am Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service were called to Milton Road in Waterlooville at reports of flooding and we alerted the matter to highways department at Havant Borough Council

10.04am-11.19am: One crew from Horndean Fire Station assisted at two flooded properties at Castle Road, Rowlands Castle

Mid-morning: Reports of flooding at Tesco in the High Street, Cosham which had been caused by a blocked drain.

10.13am Blocked drain at Bramdean Drive in Leigh Park

10.24am Flooding at Chaucer Close Waterlooville

10.42am One fire appliance and the special equipment unit from Cosham Fire Station were called to assist with flooding at Portsdown Primary School in Wymering.

11.23 Flooded property at Woodlands Avenue in Emsworth

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service highlighted the following guidelines:

Avoid entering any river fords during or after periods of rainfall;

Always pay attention to warning devices, such as depth gauges;

If in doubt, do not enter the water in a vehicle or on foot;

If water is safe to enter, always test your vehicle breaks on exiting;

Motorists should slow down, cross in lower gears and keep revs up to maintain pressure in the exhaust to prevent water getting into the engine.

The busy morning with incidents caused by flooding today, so far includes:

A spokesman said: ‘With more heavy rain predicted the fire service is reminding the public that the emergency services will be very busy, only call for immediate assistance if there is a risk to life or serious property or environmental damage.’

The Hampshire Fire and Rescue Serviceissued the following safety tips

Motorists should not attempt to drive through flooded roads or fords. The water is often deeper than it looks and may be moving quite fast. Your vehicle may be swept away or become stranded

Do not attempt to walk through flooded areas. Even shallow water moving fast can sweep you off your feet and there may be hidden dangers such as open drains, damaged road surfaces, submerged debris or deep channels; these can cause serious injuries or even death.

Children should not be allowed to play in flood water, which can become contaminated with sewerage and chemicals

Do not smoke, eat or drink whilst in contact with floodwater and always wash your hands afterwards.

Keep an eye on weather reports on local television or radio news channels.

Do not travel in heavy rain storms unless absolutely necessary.

Safety tips at home

It is the responsibility of property owners to take appropriate action to protect their property from flooding.

Ring Floodline on 0845 988 1188 for advice.

Householders who do suffer general domestic flooding are asked to contact their insurance companies and not the fire service.

Following a flood in your home, make sure all electrical circuits are fully dried out and checked by an electrical engineer before switching back on.

Look after your neighbours. People have been known to suffer from hypothermia after their homes have become flooded with cold rainwater even in the summer time.

A supply of sandbags is recommended if you know you are at risk of flooding, and these are available from builders’ merchants. Those made with polyester are preferable if they are to be stored for long periods. Use sandbags for protecting doorways and low level vents.

Piped sections of watercourses under driveways should be kept clear using rods. Watercourses or ditches should be kept clear and foliage cut back.

Anyone who has a cellar that may be vulnerable to flood should contact Hampshire County Council on 0845 603 5633 to see if an alternative discharge point can be arranged – ducting to a regular watercourse for instance.

If flood water is about to enter your home:

Turn off gas, electricity and water supplies if it’s safe to do so – but do not touch sources of electricity when standing in flood water!

Disconnect any equipment that uses water (like washing machines and dishwashers).

Put plugs in sinks and baths, and weigh them down with a sandbag, a pillow case or plastic bag filled with garden soil or a heavy object.

Be prepared to evacuate your home, and have a bag with essential items ready:

Copies of your home insurance documents

A torch with spare batteries

A wind-up or battery radio

A fully charged mobile phone

Warm, waterproof clothing and blankets

A first aid kit and prescription medication

Bottled water and non-perishable food for you and your pets

List of important contact numbers

Leave your home if the emergency services say so. Refusing to leave on their advice will put you, your family and those trying to help you at risk. Remember to lock up your property.

Go in, stay in, tune in – regularly check the TV news, teletext, local radio and newspapers for the latest information from the emergency services and your local council.

For further advice and information on local flood warnings contact the Environment Agency Floodline on 0845 988 1188 or visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk.

To report weather related issues on highways call Hantsdirect on 0845 603 5633.

You can also get further advice and information by visiting www.hampshireprepared.co.uk.