FLOODING in Portsmouth may be a freak occurrence – but two streets in Southsea now benefit from improved defences.
A total of 23 homes in Ravenswood Gardens and Florence Road, Southsea, have had special equipment fitted for free by Portsmouth City Council.
The work includes sealing brickwork, fitting covers for air bricks, installing valves to stop floodwater entering sinks and toilet pipes, and providing portable flood barriers which can be bolted across doorways.
It comes as the authority won a £74,000 grant from the Environment Agency.
The money went towards the total £76,500 cost of scheme, with the council adding the rest.
Southsea was hit by flooding on September 15, 2000, causing widespread disruption across the city.
The authority says the work is designed to cope with the kind of exceptional rainfall that hits once in 50 years.
Tony Lewis lives in one of five ground-floor flats in Chiltern Court, Florence Road, Southsea, which has benefitted from the work.
His flat was uninhabitable for eight months after the floods 12 years ago.
Mr Lewis, who lives with wife Heather, said: ‘We’ve now got automatic covers for the air bricks in our flat and a board which can go across our patio doors.
‘There are eight boards for the block altogether. When we get a flood warning we run around the building with them and screw them into place. These flood measures are a really good idea. Prevention is better than cure, after all. All of us appreciate what has been done.’
Cllr Eleanor Scott, the council’s cabinet member for the environment and community safety, said: ‘We’re delighted that we’ve been able to help protect some of the most at-risk homes in the area.
‘Many people remember just how bad the flooding of 2000 was.
‘Year on year, we have been working with the Environment Agency to do what we can, with the money available, to safeguard the homes that were worst hit.’