Emsworth ‘more prepared’ a year on from storm

FLASHBACK The flooding in Emsworth a year ago
FLASHBACK The flooding in Emsworth a year ago

Train evacuated between Havant and Haslemere

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THE flood caused scenes of pandemonium and left its mark with tens of thousands of pounds of damage.

But a year on and residents in Emsworth say they are now in a better position to cope in case a freak storm ever hits again.

On November 9 last year, 25 homes in Bridge Road and Selangor Avenue suffered severe flooding after nearly a month’s rainfall fell in 12 hours. The town’s drainage channels, some of which were blocked, were unable to cope.

Work has already begun to alleviate the problems and improve the drainage system in the town – thanks to the work of Emsworth Flood Action Group.

The group is a collection of residents and community leaders who have worked with the local councils, the Environment Agency, and Southern Water to solve the issues.

In Bridge Road new gulleys are being installed, larger gulley gratings are being fitted, and telemetry has been installed to warn of rising water levels.

In Long Copse Lane, another flooded area, ditches and drains have been cleared and kerbs have been built up.

The last part of the jigsaw is Selangor Avenue, where there are blocked drainage ditches to the north and south of the nearby railway line.

Residents have written to Network Rail to demand action.

Chris Clode, of Bath Road, who is chairman of the action group, said: ‘Residents are still nervous that after a year the work is not complete and the potential for flooding this winter still exists, but progress has been made and the end result will be a much safer environment in which to live.’

He added: ‘All in all, working closely with the various agencies in a constructive and non-confrontational manner, has been mostly very positive.

‘We still have a way to go but we are in a much better position now than we were a year ago and work is in hand to finish the job over the next few months. Let’s hope Network Rail steps up to the plate and does its bit too.’

Network Rail spokesman Jon Crampton said: ‘The culverts and ditches on our land behind Selangor Avenue have been assessed and will be cleared as soon as possible.’