Council landed with £68.5m floods bill

Flood containment work in Hambledon
Flood containment work in Hambledon
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THE winter flooding cost Hampshire County Council £68.5m, it has been revealed.

The money was spent on the authority’s response to the extreme weather and its aftermath.

The Portsmouth area was particularly badly hit with homes being flooded.

And Hambledon was underwater for weeks, with the village being cut off for several days.

The council will make a claim to the government for between £3.5m to £4.5m, for the cost of the emergency response.

And an £11.5m grant for highways works has already been received from government, which is about a third of the estimated cost of repairs to damaged highways.

Council leader Roy Perry said: ‘Getting £11.5m is a helpful first step from the government and we’ll be bidding for more resources, bearing in mind we estimate that another £25m, or more, is needed to fix damaged roads alone.’

Mr Perry said he wanted to recognise those who had gone the extra mile during the floods.

‘In recognition of those efforts, the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire Dame Mary Fagan and I, will be hosting an event after Easter,’ he said.

‘We intend to find an appropriate way to express the county’s thanks to the volunteers who were the “saints and saviours” of flooding within Hampshire and played a tremendous part in supporting their neighbours.’

The council released a breakdown of how some of the bill was run up:

* 100 council staff and 200 contractors on deployment around the clock

* 354 weeks, or 13,127 hours of highways’ staff’s time

* 1,000 fallen trees removed from roads

* 22,000 reports and requests for help from the public over the two months, more than three times the average

* 80 investigations into floods, with engineering advice, temporary schemes and water diversions and advice to property owners and businesses to protect their homes and possessions

* Over 70,000 sandbags deployed on highways across the county.