Flooding hits Portsmouth street with human excrement washing up as drains overwhelmed by rainwater

FLOODING in a Portsmouth street has overwhelmed drains leaving toilet paper, human excrement , and dead rats on the pavement and drives.

Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 11:11 am
Updated Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 5:04 pm

Residents in Salisbury Road, Cosham, have been contending with repeated flooding since Sunday afternoon’s sudden torrential downpours.

Heavy rains saw the sodden neighbours out in the road to stop traffic and try to keep rising waters from their front doors at 4pm on Sunday.

Now showers overnight have once again flooded the street – and overflowing sewers have left behind toilet paper, excrement, and dead rodents.

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Residents of Salisbury Road in Cosham are calling for urgent action after flooding has hit their street. Picture: Lucy Heard

Chris Le Manquais, who has lived in the street for more than 20 years, said the problem has been re-occurring for more than a decade.

She said: ‘It’s been going on for years.

‘It’s disgusting and it’s happened too many times.

‘Something needs to be done.’

Residents of Salisbury Road in Cosham are calling for urgent action after flooding has hit their street. Picture: Lucy Heard

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Resident Lucy Heard said the street was in near unanimous agreement that temporarily digging up the road to improve the drains would be preferable to the repeated flooding.

The 36-year-old said: ‘I have been here five years and last year it flooded four times.

‘A sub contractor for Southern Water came out (on Sunday night) and he was like – “this is disgusting”.

Residents of Salisbury Road in Cosham are calling for urgent action after flooding has hit their street. Picture: Lucy Heard

‘He couldn’t believe how bad it was.

‘We have floating poo, used sanitary pads – all sorts of stuff.

‘We are fed up.’

Residents of Salisbury Road in Cosham are calling for urgent action after flooding has hit their street. Picture: Lucy Heard

Lucy said that subcontractors from the council often visit after flooding – but sometimes they arrive hours after the waters have receded and residents have undertaken their own clean-up operation.

Now residents are calling for removable flood defences, swifter cleaning of the street, and major works to improve the sewers.

Simon Ford, a minister at Cosham Baptist Church who has lived in the road for 22 years, said: ‘It would be great to get a quicker response, but it needs something big – clearly the drains aren’t big enough.’

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt said she plans to visit residents, alongside a local councillors and team from Southern Water, at 6pm on Wednesday.

Responding to the flooding yesterday, the MP said: ‘I spoke to Southern Water today and my thanks to residents who have been in touch to help us build up a picture of what happened.

‘During my discussions with the company it appears that the pumping station and other contingencies were working OK, however there is something that (keeps) going wrong and permits sewage to (get) affected by surface water.

Residents of Salisbury Road in Cosham are calling for urgent action after flooding has hit their street. Jonah Ford stands in the flood. Picture: Lucy Heard

‘I’m determined we will get this sorted once and for all for these blighted households, and in the meantime my team and I will be here to support residents.’

Southern Water has been contacted for comment.

A Portsmouth City Council spokesman said: ‘Portsmouth City Council ensures that street gullies are cleaned regularly to minimise the impact of rainwater causing flooding.

‘The capacity of the sewer at this particular location is an issue but this is something overseen by Southern Water.

‘However, Portsmouth City Council will offer any support needed to Southern Water, with regards to areas that are prone to flooding.’

Roads across Portsmouth saw flash flooding after heavy rainfall on Sunday night, with Northern Parade among the worst affected.

Showers are expected to continue today and then return on Friday.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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