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Severe weather warnings continue after festive storms

Residents are assessing the damage caused by the extreme weather over the festive period but are faced with more heavy rain

Junction between Eastern Road and Pegasus Avenue, flooded after heavy rain

Residents are counting the cost of the latest extreme weather to batter north east Hampshire, with the festive period not going as smoothly as some desired.

Flooding, smashed fences, power cuts and fallen trees were just some of the incidents caused by the storms that hit the area over Christmas and New Year.

Gale force winds were felt and hopes of returning to calmer weather have been dashed as 21 severe flood warnings, issued by the Environment Agency, were in place on Friday January 3.

The UK is facing exceptional bad weather in the coming days and persistent heavy rain is forecast for the News & Mail area.

The EA has also issued 188 flood warnings across England and Wales and a further 233 flood alerts.

A large fir tree fell on a scout hut in Aldershot’s Manor Park during the Christmas storm, leaving the troop unsure about the extent of damage caused.

Trustee Mick Mills said the building had a lucky escape, though, and thankfully only the guttering appeared to have suffered damage.           

“The building is still usable and there is no water coming in but we can’t get round there to see what damage there is until the tree is removed.”

In North Town, business owners in Eastern Road faced flooding problems as surface water from rainfall built up at the junction with Pegasus Avenue.

Councillor Keith Dibble, who represents the ward, said he would be putting more pressure on Hampshire County Council to improve drainage in the area after being told by the council that ‘necessary actions’ had been carried out at the flooding spot and the matter was now ‘closed’.

In Hart there was also flooding, with one residential car park off Kings Road in Fleet almost half underwater due to a lack of drainage.

Residential car park at Kingswood Court, off Kings Road, Fleet, after heavy rainfall
 

A number of trees fell on roads, including Farnborough Road and Meudon Avenue, with residents chopping larger ones down to save potential damage to their homes.

One Farnborough woman’s car suffered severe damage after it was struck by a falling tree as she drove to Fleet. A lane on the A21, on the approach to the Farnborough Way roundabout, was also blocked by a fallen tree.

Firefighters at Rushmoor fire station said they had their work cut out dealing with several incidents over the holidays.

Station commander Paul Robson said: “We have been particularly busy recently, it has been a busy time right around the county.

“The strong winds and heavy rain has caused a lot of floods and caused us to have a lot more calls.”

Many homes in Farnborough were affected by flooding and fallen trees, including that of 55-year-old Bunty Benham, of Pinewood Park. She said a drainage ditch at the back of her house overflowed and fence panels collapsed in the winds.

“Every time it rains my back garden becomes flooded,” she said. "At one point the water was getting closer and closer to the patio and I was worried it was going to come into the house, it’s impossible to stop it flooding.

Mike Asken, another resident of Pinewood Park, said broken fence panels were a ‘significant problem’ along the road.

Matt Rhodes and his 15-year-old son Michael spent several hours desperately trying to clear a blocked culvert near their home in Albany Road, Fleet. The drain had become jammed with leaves, which were piling against a safety grill, causing water to spout four or five feet into the air.

“Water was coming down our driveway,” said Mr Rhodes. “Luckily, it’s gravel, which helped soak up the water, but if it had been tarmac or block paving the ground floor of our house would have been flooded."

With more bad weather due, Hampshire County Council is increasing the number of highways emergency crews to deal with water on roads. Extra arboriculture teams with chainsaws are also on standby in case of fallen trees.

 

Journalists

Pete Bryant
Chief Reporter (Aldershot)
Laura Nightingale
Yateley Reporter
Natalie Garland
Farnborough Reporter
Jon Couch
Sport Editor
Fergus McEwan
Community & Schools Editor
Stephen Lloyd
Fleet Reporter
Ros Collins
Junior News & Mail
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