Flooding in Hampshire village worsens overnight as heavy rain falls

PREPARED Residents Caroline Lambert and James King manning sandbags in Hambledon last night. Picture: Ian Hargreaves
PREPARED Residents Caroline Lambert and James King manning sandbags in Hambledon last night. Picture: Ian Hargreaves
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FLOODING in Hambledon is the worst it’s been in the last month, the chairman of the village’s Flood Action Group has said.

Last night saw heavy rain and strong winds hit the area and more than 1,000 pumps have been set up across the village to help control the flood water.

The Environment Agency is preparing for heavy rainfall across the area over the next 10 days and communities have been warned to take action to prepare for the risk of flooding.

Tony Higham is chairman of the Hambledon Flood Action Group.

Last night he said: ‘It’s worsening. The water levels are steadily rising.

‘When we wake up in the morning it’s going to be running through the village like a torrent. This is the worst it has been in the last month.

‘Everybody is absolutely shocked and can’t believe it.’

Mr Higham said the biggest concern is a power cut, which will shut down the electric water pumps.

‘The one thing we are biting our fingernails over is the issue of power cuts,’ he said.

‘We are as prepared as we can be for water. The power of the water is gnawing away at the sandbags.

‘We have about 15 power cuts a year. We had three in five days last week.

‘It’s fine while we’ve got electricity but when it fails we get flooded very quickly.’

Jan Jarvie also serves on the Flood Action Group. He said the community has pulled together.

‘There’s a tremendous village support here,’ he said. ‘Everybody works together.

‘People are helping each other out. It’s been really good.

‘Unlike other times, the village is completely sealed off. The road is closed at both ends. There’s no parking in the village.

‘Some people have to go a third of a mile to leave their car and carry their shopping to get home.

‘For people who can’t go out or get to their cars we take turns checking on them and seeing whether they need anything.

‘The amount of flooding we have affects everyone in the village.’

A night watch rota has been set up so every two hours people patrol the area and check if the flooding is getting worse. An emergency team was also on standby at Hambledon Village Hall last night to support residents.

Meanwhile, South West Trains has warned passengers that a reduced service will run on some long distance routes between 10am and 7pm today.