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- County on flood alert after being battered by rain
- Rivers burst banks
- Motorways and rail links hit by flooding
- Weather experts issue flood warning
- Wallington evacuated
- Vehicles rescued after becoming stranded
As the immediate threat of further flooding appears to have eased, we're going to wrap up our live coverage. But should there be any further developments, we will of course keep you informed throughout the evening.
My local river has burst its bank & now the flood defence wall is cracking... #Wallington http://t.co/rypZr6a4— @Clareinotlaw67 20 December 2012
Things are beginning to look better in Wallington. The heavy rain has now subsided and the flood waters appear to have begun draining away.
Flood co-ordinator David Walton said: "I think the danger has passed.
"We're well after high tide now and the flow of water down the river meant the tide didn't have much effect.
"The water is dropping very quickly and the tide has had little effect."
The head of emergency planning at Hampshire County Council said he believes we have now seen the worst of the flooding.
Ian Hoult said: “We’ve had problems all over the county. Lots of roads in the area have been affected and major routes affected too, but just with water on the surface.
“Fortunately the situation is improving. The forecast is clear now for no more rain tonight.”
Christmas revellers have had their parties tonight cancelled at The White Swan in Southampton.
The Mansbridge Road pub and restaurant has been closed after water from the River Itchen, which runs alongside its garden, rose and flooded both the bar and car park.
Staff said it is too soon to assess the amount of damage the water has caused, but said they are hopeful the popular pub will be able to reopen tomorrow.
FLOOD FACTS: 32% of flood-related deaths are by drowning in a vehicle #ThinkDontSink— @AASORT 20 December 2012
Over in Romsey, Green Lane has now been closed, the county council confirmed.
A spokeswoman said Cupernham Lane is passable with care but there is a lot of water on the road surface.
Council officials in Fareham have vowed that anyone evacuated because of the flooding in Wallington who doesn't have anywhere else to stay will be put up in hotels overnight.
As reported earlier, Fareham Leisure Centre has been designated as a place for evacuated people to get warm, have food and possibly wait for friends and relatives to collect them.
A council spokesman said the priority is to make sure everyone effected has "got somewhere safe" for the night.
He said the water in the River Wallington is now six feet above the riverbed, and just six inches from the top of the boundary wall at the end of gardens.
The Environment Agency said it is delivering ten one-tonne sandbags to Wallington as part of the effort to help the wall, which is straining under the weight of the swollen river. The authority said the sandbags are due to arrive at around 6pm.
From the small bit of river I can see, it seems about the same height as when I arrived. #wallington— @bethan_27 20 December 2012
You can still hear the roar of the water though! - sounds pretty ferocious. #wallington— @bethan_27 20 December 2012
The police have cordoned off another stretch, so no way to get near to the river from the middle of #wallington— @bethan_27 20 December 2012
More photos of #Wallington http://t.co/7ztjjfjA— @lucketts 20 December 2012
It seems the whole village has turned out to see if there will be a flood. #wallington— @bethan_27 20 December 2012
Fairly relaxed atmosphere - I think that as the water has dropped since midday people aren't expecting further flooding. #wallington— @bethan_27 20 December 2012
No rain here for the last hour or so. According to a pcso who is at the footbridge cordon, the river level has dropped 6 inches #wallington— @bethan_27 20 December 2012
Fareham Borough Council has issued another update. As well as the flooding in Wallington, it is keeping tabs on potential problems in Titchfield.
The authority said the level of the river Meon is now receding, but several properties are still vulnerable.
Sandbags are being made available for the residents to collect at Bridge Cottage and Bridge Street Titchfield.
I love the people of #Wallington. Potential flood disaster, so what do they do? All go down the pub.— @jacksmith_ 20 December 2012
Some conflicting information on when high tide is - environment agency said 16.32. But other people saying later. #wallington— @bethan_27 20 December 2012
A coach is waiting to evacuate people if necessary. #wallington— @bethan_27 20 December 2012
Southampton City Council is reporting that the 4pm high tide appears to have passed without problem, and the adverse weather alert has now subsided.
Lots of media and residents down here waiting for high tide. #wallington— @bethan_27 20 December 2012
Down in wallington, fareham for @dailyecho to see if the flood defences are going to break #wallington— @bethan_27 20 December 2012
The boss at Fareham Fire Station has been explaining the scale of the situation his team has faced today, and revealed compulsory evacuations of homes have not been ruled out.
Station Commander Paul Coates said: "There were some houses this morning near to Standard Way that were surrounded by water coming off the fields.
"There was nothing we could do because where do we pump the water to?
"But the water wasn't inside.
"Since then the water level has dropped.
"What we're doing now is standing by incase we need to bring our water rescue teams in if the defences break.
"If anymore rains comes in, with the high tides it's not going to fit in that river.
"We're planning to evacuate everybody to Fareham Leisure Centre if that happens.
"At the moment it is a voluntary evacuation but there could come a point where we say you have to get out."
One person who might not currently be so upset by the flooding in Wallington is the landlord of the Cob and Pen pub.
The watering hole is reportedly doing a roaring trade as villagers forced from their homes by high water have headed there to keep tabs on the situation.
Flood defences are in place at the pub, but so far it has survived the rising water levels.
Meanwhile, the village's other pub, the White Horse, has been blocked off by the emergency services.
But Rob Hatherly, landlord of the Cob and Pen, insisted the number of customers was fairly normal for a Thursday afternoon.
He said: "Obviously there's a lot of people worried about the flood water and this is a bit of a hub for the village.
"This flooded about 10 years ago.
"There was about two feet of water in here.
"But everyone knows what to do and we have an evacuation plan.
"We're just waiting for the inevitable I suppose.
"I think it will flood. It all depends how strong that wall is."
Just forty-five minutes until high-tide at Wallington
Wallington Bridge and the White Horse Bridge have both been closed by emergency services as high river levels put them under strain.
Bradley Randall from the Environment Agency said: "They're relatively minor cracks and some of them are old.
"We're being ultra precautious and have sandbags there just to sure it up.
"Professional engineers have looked at it and it's stable.
"The main worry is that the river will start rising again when the high tide comes in.
"Since the heavy rain this morning the levels have dropped but we have got a few more hours until high tide.
"Everything that can be done is being done."
This was the scene at one of the bridges earlier.
Daily Echo reporter Bethan Phillips has just sent this report from Wallington:
There is an anxious wait in a Hampshire village this afternoon as flood water threatens to burst through defences.
The river in Wallington has burst its banks, and only a brick wall stands in the way of dozens of homes being flooded.
But three cracks have been spotted in the defence, as residents wait for the water to peak at high tide later this afternoon.
The emergency services have advised 80 households to evacuate and a refuge centre has been set up in Fareham Leisure Centre.
Wendy Toomey, 59, is one of the people that has left her home.
Her houses flooded in 2000, causing more than £20,000 worth of damage.
Since then, flood barriers have been fitted to the doors and windows of homes in the street.
She said: "I'm going to my son's in Swanmore. We're extremely worried again. We have just got to keep our fingers crossed."
Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, said a structural engineer was monitoring the defences.
He said: "If that wall gives way then all of these houses will be flooded.
"We're working with police, the fire service, the ambulance service, the county council and the environment agency."
High tide is at 4.30pm.
Have you taken pictures of floods? You can send them to us via Twitter or to email@example.com #floods #southampton #photos— @EchoPics 20 December 2012
An emergency contact number has been set up by Fareham Borough Council for anyone with concerns for friends and family in the area. The hotline number is: 01329 824794.
The Lamb Inn, as pictured by Simon Rowley, is under water too.
The "festive bonanza" planned for Veracity Recreation Ground in Southampton this evening has been forced indoors because of the torrential rain. The Verastonbury event - organised by Streetlight, which works with young people in the Bitterne area - was due to happen on the park land in Merryoak, but will now be held in the Merryoak Community Centre on Acacia Road, from 7pm.
<a href="#1104">Further to the update at 11.04am</a>, here's a picture of the flooding on Cupernham Lane near Romsey. Residents say the water has come from run-off from the new Abbotswood village development.
The evacuation in Wallington has been prompted by fears a crack in the flood defence wall alongside the river, which runs between the two village pubs – the Cob & Pen and the White Horse – could give way.
Severe #flood warning on #River #Wallington. @FarehamBC evacuating village. Our staff are out on site. Go to http://t.co/XmRZT1eE #seflood— @EnvAgencySE 20 December 2012
Police have revealed they have knocked on 80 homes in Wallington and are taking residents to Fareham Leisure Centre as water levels continue to rise.
This was how Wallington Shore looked earlier, as council officials worked to minimise the impact of flooding.
The AA said it has attended 224 cars driven through or stuck in flood water and more than 6,800 breakdowns nationally today, currently around 1,100 every hour. The motoring organisation said the worst-affected areas for call outs have been the New Forest and East Dorset.
The AA is expecting to deal with 14,000 requests for help today, compared to 9.500 on a normal Thursday.
Darron Burness, the AA’s Head of Special Operations, said: “The run-up to Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year for traffic so any bad weather can have a big impact on the roads.
“Unfortunately, following this morning, some drivers will be asking Santa for a new car after driving down flooded roads. It’s just not worth the risk, so stay out of flood water, as it can hide all manner of hazards and you seriously risk wrecking your engine or worse."
Another warning has been issued by the police - this time about the risk of aquaplaning. Hampshire police said there have been reports of minor collisions and aquaplaning on:
• M27 junction 2 westbound
• A3M both directions at Horndean
• A34 northbound at Whitchurch
• A303 westbound at Harewood Forest
Police said driving in rain means stopping distance will double on a wet road, and urged drivers to keep a safe distance and slow to a safe speed, as there will be a reduction in tyre grip. They said it is important to brake slowly and gently to slow down, and advised motorists to drive at a speed at which you can see the road is clear of surface water, particularly if driving at night or in conditions of poor visibility.
In Wallington, plans to evacuate the village have been discussed amid fears that river levels coupled with a high tide this afternoon could mean the River Wallington could burst its banks.
Wallington Village Community Association flood co-ordinator David Walton said the flood defences were holding at the moment with a just a few leaks which have been reinforced by sandbags.
He said: ''The issue of an evacuation has been discussed but not implemented."
''The concern is that high water is at 4.30 - it's not a massive tide but the Environment Agency is warning that, although river levels have dropped over the last few hours, they are due to rise because of rainfall further up the catchment.''
This was the view of the swollen-looking river at Wallington at lunchtime.
Here's a video of footage of the floods around Brockenhurst today, including the scene after two people had to escape from a Porsche 911 that became stuck in flood water under Latchmoor Bridge on Sway Road.
Hampshire police have issued advice to motorists ahead of this afternoon's rush hour. Drivers are being urged to:
• Plan ahead and allow extra time for your journey. This is especially important as heavy traffic is predicted this weekend for last minute Christmas shopping.
• Do not attempt to cross flooded roads or floodwater.
• Drive slowly through standing surface water to avoid creating wash which can cause problems for nearby properties.
Rising water has been reported on Lower Brownhill Road in Southampton. the road is under about one foot of water, although cars are still able to make their way through the road, near to Holy Family Primary School.
Broadcut in Fareham has been particularly badly hit by the flood water. The area around Sainsbury's and other retail units was cordoned off by police this morning as water levels rose, leaving roads submerged.
Phone lines in the area had been put out of action as the Broadcut canal rose alarmingly high. The canal had reportedly risen by more than ten feet, and was just a foot below the top of the wall. With high tide expected in the area at around 4.30pm, it is feared the water could rise further and around 50 nearby homes have deployed flood defences.
Southampton City Council said Balfour Beatty workers are continuing to assess drains around the city in an effort to minimise flood risks. As reported (see 11.40am), all road works have been suspended as contractors have been diverted to look for blown manhole covers and clear drains.
A council spokesman said although the situation in the city is currently "fine", workers are currently checking there is no debris blocking drains, in a bid to ensure there are no problems later this afternoon. High tide is due in Southampton at 4pm, which is when any problems are likely to arise. Mountbatten Way and Millbrook Road West have regularly been flooded when heavy rain and high tides have coincided.
Another picture has been sent in by an Echo reader, this time of Nightingale Drive in Totton, where some properties appear close to being flooded.
Hampshire police have said the force received 46 calls in the space of three hours today, related to flooding and surface water on the roads.
The constabulary is working with its partners to co-ordinate and respond to problems caused by the wet weather and has been running the Adverse Weather Office at its Netley training headquarters.
Chief Inspector Paula Hennighan-Finlay said: “We’ve been running the Adverse Weather Office at Netley since 5am today to co-ordinate a multi-agency response to the heavy rainfall.
“This includes planning ahead in those areas that have been identified by the Environment Agency as being at risk of flooding and responding to incidents where they occur.
“Hampshire Constabulary has mobilised police officers and staff to ensure we have the right resources in the right place at the right time.”
Echo reader Dave Hawkins has sent us this picture of a car stuck in high flood water under Ashurst Bridge on the A326 this morning.
This was all that could be seen this morning of a car from which two people had a lucky escape overnight near Brockenhurst. The occupants managed to climb clear of the Porsche 911 when it got stuck in water under Latchmoor Bridge on Sway Road near Brockenhurst shortly after 1am. The flood water had risen to more than four feet deep by 11am.
Cars struggle through the floods in Ringwood Road, Burley.
Staying with the situation in Southampton, police have requested that sandbagging takes place in International Way, Weston.
The authorities are warning the road may have to be closed, and say other potential road closures may be put in place on South East Road in Sholing, Northumberland Road in Newtown, and St James' Park Road in Shirley.
A dog doesn't seem phased by the floods in Brockenhurst.
Southampton City Council has suspended all road works in the city. Contractors for Balfour Beatty - which carries out all highway repairs for the authority - have been diverted to dealing with blown manhole covers and highways drainage flow in a bid to alleviate flooding-related difficulties.
The flooding is now so widespread across the county that Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service has now activated its Emergency Control Centre to coordinate the response to calls for assistance.
More vehicles battle their way through floods in Brockenhurst.
Is your journey essential today? There are lots of problems on the roads due to the heavy rain. If it can wait please stay off the roads— @HantsPolRoads 20 December 2012
#EASTLEIGH - Flood and temp traffic lights on Stoneham Lane CLEARED, traffic flow back to normal.— @ROMANSE 20 December 2012
Back to the railways, and South West Trains has issued an update saying flooding is causing disruption at Southampton Central station. There are delays of of up to 15 minutes for trains going to and from the station.
A car crashed after skidding off the road in flood water near Romsey. The driver of an Audi lost control after hitting a torrent of water flowing onto Cupernham Lane from the Abbotswood village development. The motorist is not believed to have been hurt. The run-off from the housing complex has reportedly left many gardens on Cupernham Lane several inches underwater.
A vehicle carefully traverses through floodwater in Brockenhurst.
A few more road closures have been put in place around Hampshire because of flooding. The county council said the following places have been shut:
• Poles Lane in Otterbourne.
• Parsonage Lane in Durley.
• The fords at Foxes Lane and Church Lane in Wellow.
A man plays with his dog in floodwater, Brockenhurst.
10:18am Thu 20 Dec 12
It's probably pushing it to call it flooding, but the ground is very saturated along the Avenue from the Cowherds to town.
#A32 #FAREHAM - Wickham Road now fully OPEN in both directions under #M27 J10. #hantsfloods— @ROMANSE 20 December 2012
Here's a bit more from South West Trains on the situation caused by the flooding at Sway. The operator said the following changes will be in place until further notice:
• Services from London Waterloo will terminate at Southampton Central or Brockenhurst.
• A train 'shuttle' will run between Bournemouth and Weymouth.
• There are no South West Trains services between Bournemouth and Brockenhurst.
• South West Trains are running buses between Bournemouth and Brockenhurst.
• CrossCountry services may be delayed by up to 60 minutes.
• Services have been suspended between Brockenhurst and Lymington Pier. Passengers are advised to use local buses (route 65).
• Parking restrictions have been lifted at alternative stations throughout the area.
Hampshire's Romanse road management team has said temporary two-way traffic lights are going to be installed on Stoneham Lane in Eastleigh in a bid to ease the congestion caused by flood water.
South West Trains has provided a bit of an update on the situation on the railways. The headlines from it are:
• No train services operating between Bournemouth and Brockenhurst.
• Buses replace trains between Fareham and Eastleigh.
• Electrical supply problems causing delays between Aldershot and Alton.
• Disruption expected to continue throughout the morning.
A spokeswoman for the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance said: "We apologise to our customers for the disruption to their services this morning. We are working hard to restore services in these areas as quickly as possible, although unfortunately we do expect services to be disrupted throughout the morning."
Roads around Junction 5 of the M27 are still slow because of the flooding on Stoneham Lane. The main road is under water near the Concorde Club and on the approach to the motorway roundabout, causing delays. Congestion is also reported on the alternative route, along Southampton Road.
@bbcradiosolent @hantsconnect commercial road, totton, heading east bound flooded, cars driving on wrong side to avoid http://t.co/XMZ20bfg— @Zeo2113 20 December 2012
More roads have been closed because of flooding:
• Boarhunt Mill Road in Southwick.
• Hurst Lane in Marwell.
• Grange Road in Netley is closed between Portsmouth Road and Woolston Road.
• The main road through Burley is also reported to now be impassable.
• In Basingstoke, Clappers Farm Road is closed due to flooded ford on Silchester Brook (part way between Bramley and Silchester)
The Highways Agency is reportedly making progress in its efforts to clear water from the A32 Wickham Road under Junction 10 of the M27. The exit slip road has been closed this morning after the road was left under three feet of water. Hampshire County Council said all is being done to get the road open as soon as possible.
Brockenhurst continnues to be one of the worst-hit areas, with reports Burley Road has now also been closed because of the flooding caused by Lymington River bursting its banks.
The busy A337 at Brockenhurst is almost impassable, with serious flooding outside Careys Manor Hotel and Spa.
Motorists are waiting for a gap in the oncoming traffic and then driving along the middle of the road to avoid the deepest water.
A picnic area and a large area of agricultural land behind Careys Manor have been flooded, while the roadside cricket pitch in front of the Balmer Lawn Hotel is also under several inches of water.
This is an extreme example of what can happen if you drive through flood water. Be #floodaware http://t.co/dsyqQBsf— @EnvAgency 20 December 2012
Several roads in and around Fareham are now closed because of the flooding. Hampshire County Council said the following roads are affected:
• River Lane and Titchfield Lane, Funtley.
• Bridge Street in Titchfield.
• Broadcut, near the Sainsbury's store in Wallington.
• Pook Lane and Spurlings Road, north of the M27.
Here's the latest forecast for today and ahead. Click below for more detail:
Yes trains are badly affected and here's the proof!
Commuter Kevin Dingley has sent us this picture of Hinton Admiral Station on the main Bournemouth to Southampton line.
"Water was flowing towards Christchurch like a stream. No trains of course so a work from home day," he said.
The closure of Wickham Road under the M27 at Junction 10 is having a major knock-on effect in Fareham town centre. Heavy congestion is being reported, with traffic very slow moving on Wallington Way towards the Delme Arms Roundabout for Junction 11 of the M27.
Forecasters are not offering much hope that conditions will ease, with more heavy rain predicted to fall across Hampshire through the day.
You can see a more detailed forecast for what's in store for your specific area by clicking here.
Flooding and a broken down vehicle are causing delays southbound on the B3342 Tollbar Way in Hedge End, between Botley Road and the Maunsell Way roundabout.
A Fire Service spokesman said as heavy rain continues, the "main concern" is people not properly assessing the dangers of flooding. The Environment Agency has this morning warned it takes just two feet of water to float a car.
The Hampshire Fire spokesman said: "Just don't risk it. If it's particularly fast-flowing and deep, you can get washed away.
"These fords and flood water is only going to get worse this morning, and there's just no need to get stuck."
Hampshire Fire and Rescue is urging motorists to think before attempting to drive through flood water. The service has been called to help several drivers today after getting stranded.
• A man was rescued from his car at The Rise in Brockenhurst at 5.20am.
• Crews successfully helped a man out of his vehicle after getting stuck at Boarhunt Mill near Fareham at 6.07am.
• Firefighters have also been called to incidents of people trapped in cars at a Farm near Liss, and on Hayling Island, where there are also reports of homes and businesses being affected by flooding.
As well as the two men rescued from their stranded van at Purbrook Ford near Waterlooville shortly before 1am (see entry at 7.01am), fire crews were called to a vehicle stuck in water at Latchmoor Bridge at Sway at 1.09am.
Commuters at Lymington are hit by the rail chaos with no trains running in or out of the town.
Calmore Road in Totton has been closed due to "significant flooding". Highways crews are on the scene using a tanker to clear water away.
Motorists are being warned to expect delays on Stoneham Lane in Eastleigh as flood waters rise.
There is standing water on the road near the Concorde Club, but traffic bosses say it is still passable at the moment.
The same road was closed in November after a car became stranded in flood water.
Here's the video from then:
Flooding has eased on the A3(M) Southbound and the lane that was closed on the exit slip road at Junction five has now reopened.
The westbound exit slip road from the M27 at J10 for Wickham has been completely closed because the road is now reportedly under three feet of water. Drivers are being diverted via the A27 from Junction 11 at Fareham.
Hampshire firefighters deal with at least 20 call outs overnight due to the floods
Drivers have been warned to be careful due to flood water at the Cat and Fiddle at Hinton
Are you affected by flooding? Let us know by sending your flooding pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org
A spokeswoman for the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance, said: "We apologise to our customers for the disruption to their services this morning which is due to flooding caused by heavy rain overnight.
"We are working hard to restore services in these areas as quickly as possible, although we do expect services to be disrupted throughout the morning peak. "
Due to flooding at Botley buses are replacing trains between Fareham and Eastleigh, with journey times extended by up to 30 minutes.
This will continue until further notice.
Trains between Portsmouth Harbour and London Waterloo via Basingstoke may be diverted via St Denys with journey times extended by up to 20 minutes.
Southwest Trains add:
• Services from London Waterloo will terminate at Southampton Central / Brockenhurst.
• A train 'shuttle' will run between Bournemouth and Weymouth
• There are no South West Trains servies between Bournemouth and Brockenhurst
• Buses have been requested to run between Bournemouth and Brockenhurst
• CrossCountry services may be delayed by up to 60 minutes
Statement from Southwest Trains says:
- No train services operating between Bournemouth and Brockenhurst
- Buses replace trains between Fareham and Eastleigh
- Disruption expected to last throughout morning peak
Trains from Southampton to Fareham have also been affected by flooding at Botley station.
Hampshire Constabulary advise drivers to keep a safe distance, use headlights where appropriate and not to attempt to cross deep flood waters.
Lymington River at Balmer Lawn Road in Brockenhurst reported to have burst its banks making road impassible.
Peter Quarmby, Environment Agency Flood and Coastal Risk Manager, said: “Our teams are working hard to prepare and to make sure our professional partners are prepared.
"We have officers out checking flood defences and clearing any river blockages.
"We are receiving regular updates from the Met Office, and will continuously monitor both river levels and tidal conditions.
“Now is a good time for anyone who lives in an area vulnerable to flooding to think about the precautions they can take to protect their properties, and I would encourage everybody to check their flood risk at the Environment Agency website and keep up to date on warnings.”
The Environment Agency has issued an amber alert for Kings Somborne and Little Somborne near Winchester, which it says are at risk of groundwater flooding.
Forecaster Dan Williams said: “Bearing in mind the ground is saturated, we could see some impact from that rain fall – it could cause flooding on the roads, surface water and localised flooding of some at-risk properties.”
Weather experts predicted the county was due to be hit by up to 60mm of rain.
The A32 from Fareham to Wickham was also hit by flooding under the motorway.
Standing water closed the slip road on the A3(M) southbound at junction five.
On the M27 the westbound exit slip road to Wickham was also closed due to flooding.
Two men were rescued from their car trapped by flooding at Purbook Ford in Portsmouth.
Firefighters on the Isle of Wight were called to Ryde Esplanade to pump away flood water.
Rail links between Southampton and Bournemouth were affected by a flooding at Sway in the New Forest.