Hampshire flooding: Langstone residents left picking up the pieces after record high tide floods homes and shuts Royal Oak pub

A Hampshire community has been left picking up the pieces after an extreme flood which brought dirty water into homes and pubs.

Residents of Langstone High Street in Langstone, Havant were shocked by the scale of the flooding event brought about by a record high tide in the early hours of Tuesday, April 9. Other coastal communities in the Portsmouth area were also struck by the tidal phenomenon and powerful winds, leading to flooding in Old Portsmouth, Gosport, Hayling Island and Emsworth.

According to two local residents who spoke to The News - but did not wish to be named - water came both from the sea directly and also rose up through the ground, meaning that even heavily barricaded houses were flooded despite the use of sandbags and other defence measures. One of the pair added that in 42 years of living in the area, she had never seen it flood to that extent. Cars in the area were reportedly damaged and as of Friday, April 12, heaps of discarded carpet lie outside some of the houses in the neighbourhood.

The eyewitnesses told The News that some houses saw roughly a foot of water pour in - and they also reported that the water appeared to be contaminated.

Southern Water’s Beachbuoy release table shows a number of release incidents in Langstone Harbour in the days leading up to the flood - notably for the majority of Saturday, April 6 when a single instance lasted more than 15 hours - though does not currently display anything for Monday or Tuesday.

Footage taken by Langstone woman Penny Ingram shows a resident of adjacent road Towers Garden kayaking down Langstone High Street in search of sandbags as members of “Langstone Flood Watch” survey the area.

The Royal Oak pub was forced to shut for two days following the incident, and landlord Daryl Reilly said that it could take up to two weeks until the venue is fully operational once more. The venue was without power and had appliances - including six freezers and eight refrigerators - destroyed, with its kitchen still closed.

Daryl said: “We closed earlier that night, just to make sure the staff and everyone else got home okay. The entire bottom level here was [under] eight to ten inches of water, and our electric box is about 8 to 10 inches away from the floor.

The waves hit our building hard enough that I could feel vibrations across the whole building - which was quite intense, to be honest.

“It was like an apocalypse moment. There were no street lights or anything. We have a post outside and if that post ever disappears, I know it’s a high tide. I couldn’t see that post for a good two hours. The damage was so much. I don’t think that even people who have been here for many years were expecting it to be that bad.”

Daryl also described how the Green King pub’s beer garden was damaged, had its furniture scattered “like a tornado” by the force of the water and - bizarrely - was littered with hundreds of worms. Nearby pub The Ship Inn was also flooded but fared better and was reopened the following day.

Pub landlord Mark Dawson said: “We had some minor seepage – probably about an inch – which breached the barriers due to the weight of water outside. We had some sand-bags out which did prevent a lot of it. It was a quick mop and a dry [the next] morning. Fortunately, there isn’t extensive damage."

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “On Monday, the south coast experienced some of the highest tides on record, with an extra half-a-metre caused by the storm on top of normal spring tides. Our teams have been out across the region supporting other agencies, supporting communities. The latest figures say flood defences managed by the Environment Agency protected 5,000 properties this week. We know the devastation flooding can cause, and we sympathise with anyone whose property was flooded. People should still remain vigilant despite a much-improved situation, and check their flood-risk at www.gov.uk/flood or on Floodline: 0345 988 1188. Updates are also available on our X feed, formerly Twitter: @envagencyse.”

A Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson added that “advice was given to a caller from a property in Langstone High Street” in the earlier hours of Tuesday morning, though crews did not attend the scene.

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