COUNTY council leader Roy Perry was meeting Government ministers today to discuss Hampshire’s flooding crisis.
He revealed the top level talks as he warned that the risk from flooding was not yet over and the final bill for repairing Hampshire’s damaged roads was expected to be in the “multi millions”.
Cllr Perry told a meeting of the county’s ruling Cabinet yesterday that he was poised to bid for Government funding for major schemes to stem future flooding, including in Winchester, Romsey and Hambledon.
He said: “We are definitely making it clear that although Hampshire has fortunately not had the national headlines as being affected by flooding, it is perfectly clear that at government level, at a European level, Hampshire is very much in the frontline of the present situation of dealing with the flooding.
“It definitely remains an issue across the county. We are not yet at the clear-up situation.”
Economy, transport and environment boss Stuart Jarvis said efforts to save Winchester and Romsey from major flooding would not have been possible without the help of the Army and Royal Navy.
He said: “It has been a game-changing event and something that was previously not available to local authorities in the same way."
But Mr Jarvis said the flooding risk was ongoing. He said: “It is probably only Milford on Sea which is in full recovery phase at the moment. That was a coastal event and it is in the clear-up phase, most other areas are in the response phase.
“The sandbags will be on the ground for some time, especially in the ground flooding areas where waters might stay at their elevated levels for a couple of months yet.”
He also warned that the true cost of repairing roads would only be known when the water receded.
“But it is going to have a multi-million-pound impact on Hampshire, there is no doubt about that,” he said. “That will just be to get the roads back into the condition they were in before the flood events started, particularly those roads that were submerged.
“It is very damaging in terms of eroding the fabric of the road.”
Mr Jarvis also said that residents affected by floods will be able to apply for compensation or financial help through their district councils.