Call for action by residents dealing with Finchdean floodwater

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VILLAGERS are piling the pressure on the Environment Agency after roads have become rivers.

Groundwater has risen so much in Finchdean that roads have become impassable and have had to be closed.

SWAMPED Finchdean's flood warden Alex Finch

SWAMPED Finchdean's flood warden Alex Finch

Four homes have been provided with portable loos because residents cannot flush their toilets.

Alex Finch, the flood warden for Finchdean, said the flooding problems could be alleviated if private landowners maintained drainage channels on their land.

She said: ‘The Environment Agency is responsible for making sure they do that.

‘That’s where we feel they have been weak in making sure the riparian landowners maintain the watercourse properly through their land.’

She added: ‘They will never stop the lavants flowing, but the water could be managed a lot better.’

Jean Bradley, 85, said: ‘I have to use a portable loo which is not much fun.

‘The water is still rushing down and it will for another month or two. The ground is so full up. Last year it was like this and this year again. Considering the dry summer we had, it’s amazing.’

Mrs Finch said the flooding had been stressful for villagers, but praised the help received by Hampshire county, East Hampshire district and Havant borough councils.

Staff worked from 3am to defend homes from the rising water. Around 2,000 sandbags have been distributed.

However, a thief put homes and businesses at risk after stealing 150 sandbags.

The bags were seen being loaded on to a trailer pulled by a 4x4 car.

An Environment Agency spokesman said the flooding was likely to get worse as more rainfall is forecast.

He added: ‘After working with the Finchdean and Rowlands Castle Flood Action Group, in early November 2013 the Environment Agency wrote to three riparian owners in the Finchdean area to remind them of their responsibilities in relation to channel maintenance.

‘At this time the Drew’s Farm section appeared to be relatively clear and, shortly after receiving our letter, Stansted Park have carried out works. Further correspondence took place with Network Rail in the first week of January, who have confirmed that they have inspected the area and believe their channel to operating as it should be.’