SOUTHAMPTON: Staff man the mops as White Swan is hit by floods three timespub back in businessWE will not be beaten by the floods.

That is the defiant message from bosses of a Hampshire pub flooded three times in a fortnight as the county was battered by heavy rain, gale force winds and high tides.

Staff at The White Swan pub, in Mansbridge, Southampton, have been waging a constant battle against the flood waters so residents can enjoy their pint.

After repeated mopping up operations, it is now back to business for landlord Steve Hammond and his team.

The venue, which sits on the banks of the River Itchen, first suffered with flooding on Christmas Eve, with a few inches of water inside and in the car park.

But thanks to huge efforts of staff armed with mops and buckets, who worked throughout the day, some until midnight, the premises was able to be open for the busy trade of Christmas Day.

Over the next week, it was touch and go with staff monitoring the water level constantly.

But then on January 4 it suffered again at 1pm, causing customers to be evacuated.

The sandbags and flood defences the pub uses was unable to prevent the building being flooded with a foot of water which did not recede until the next day.

It then flooded again but not so severely on Monday.

On each occasion staff used machinery, mops, buckets and even a dehumidifier as well as calling in a decontamination company.

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Each time the pub had been prepared having moved much of their stock, fridges, beer barrels and machinery to a higher level.

However, the carpets have had to be ripped up and a few doors and low-lying pieces of wood will have to be replaced.

Although the riverside location is an attraction in the summer, Mr Hammond acknowledged it was “a blessing and a curse at the moment”.

He said inevitably the loss of trade, damage caused to the pub and the stock that had to be replaced would run into thousands of pounds lost.

But he said that he and his staff would not be beaten by the floods and that the pub would be looking into how to prevent flooding in the future.

“We’re all positive, we’re trying to win our trade back and let people know we’re open and everyone’s upbeat,” he added.