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FLOOD warnings have been issued this morning as more bad weather looks set to engulf the county.

Parts of Winchester city centre close to the River Itchen are at risk of flooding, the city council has advised.

Local residents and businesses are being advised to make preparations in case flooding occurs.

Council staff have been monitoring and adjusting the sluice at Durngate in order to control water levels in Winchester over recent days and weeks.

The maximum amount of water is now flowing as fast as possible through the River Itchen and further increases in water levels may lead to unavoidable flooding.

There are a small number of residential properties that may be affected, notably in Water Lane.

Some residents have been ready with sandbags for some time. The City Council distributed additional sandbags provided by Hampshire County Council yesterday.

Efforts are being carefully targeted, with sandbags being provided to properties at which there is a known flood risk.

The situation will be reviewed again this morning by council officers.

Householders or businesses needing particular help may contact Winchester City Council on 01962 840222 and the latest flood warnings can be viewed on the Environment Agency's website.

Adele Etheridge, 62, of Wales Street, said today: “We've had some problems along our way with some of the larger puddles but they haven't been here for ages to sort any of this out.”

Nathan Khan, who works at the bar, 5 Bridge Street, near to the River Itchen said: “We've got a bit of water in our basement but you can still access it but I still think I'm going to have to get some sandbags.

“Pizza Express was closed yesterday because they had flooding in their basement.”
No-one at Pizza Express answered when the Daily Echo knocked on the door.

For some children the rising water was a source of excitement.

James Bale, 42, of Wordsworth Close in Fulflood, said: “Despite the name of where we live it's not been too bad at all. I came down here with my daughter, Charlotte, three, so she could play on the swings after swimming lessons. But we weren't sure if we'd be swimming in the pool or the River Itchen this morning!”

Kate Smith, 39, of Fromond Road in Weeke, said: “We've had some damage in our back garden and to our fences from all the wind but it's not been too bad with the flooding.

"My two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Laura, is quite happy with all the puddles. Everyone else is miserable whereas she's happy she gets to wear her welly boots so often.”