After the flood, the big mop-up starts

HELP Carol Barnett bales out her brother Sam Middleton's home in Victoria Road, Emsworth. Picture: Steve Reid (121003-006)
HELP Carol Barnett bales out her brother Sam Middleton's home in Victoria Road, Emsworth. Picture: Steve Reid (121003-006)
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Morning weather and travel

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MOPPING up the water from their soggy floors, the Middleton family are expecting a huge repair bill.

The family’s home in Victoria Road, Emsworth, started to flood yesterday morning and the water continued to rise until the afternoon.

Their ground floor was submerged under three inches of water as they desperately tried to move furniture and electrical items.

Dad-of-four Sam Middleton, 54, said the repair bill would run into thousand of pounds.

He said: ‘We have had three or four inches of water.

‘We have parquet flooring through the house and it’s really bad.

‘We have had to turn all the electric off, including my freezer. But there’s nothing we can do – it’s happened now.’

The Middletons were among scores of families who struggled with sandbags and water pumps as they tried to protect their homes during yesterday’s downpour.

Angela Barlow, 49, and her husband Darryl, 44, moved furniture and used a water pump as their garage was flooded in Southleigh Road.

Mr Barlow said: ‘I quickly grabbed it and found various pipes to get it to work.’

Southbourne was one the worst-affected areas, with water 3ft deep in the centre of the village on the A259, Main Road.

Ben Bulbeck, who works at Southbourne Farm Shop, said: ‘There were a couple of cars that have gone straight over the roundabout and ended up stalling as their batteries died.’

Dan Pope, 35, of Anthony Way, Emsworth, said many people were trapped in their homes as the water came up to their doorsteps.

He said: ‘The water has been running like a river.’

Meanwhile, there were stories of people rolling up their sleeves to help those in need.

In Denmead six employees from contractor Durkin abandoned roadworks to spend three hours helping Christine and Barry Holloway, whose home was on the verge of a serious flood in Chestnut Close.

Sand bags were used and trenches were dug in the garden to stop water flowing into their lounge.

The couple’s daughter Kerry Coombes, 38, who ran down the road to ask the men for help, said: ‘It was just like a military operation.

‘They really deserve recognition.’

In lighter moments, some made of the most of the flooded roads and gardens.

Toby Hamer, 18, normally ‘skim boards’ at West Wittering beach.

But he put on his bodysuit and skimmed across the water as it flowed down Southleigh Road yesterday.

He said: ‘It’s a cross between surf boarding and skateboarding.’