ANOTHER Hampshire school has been forced to close due to flooding.
St Bede Church of England Primary School in Winchester will be closed until Wednesday after it succumbed to flood water.
It comes as parents and governors rallied together on Friday and again yesterday to fill hundreds of sandbags in an attempt to protect the building from flooding.
But the school has taken the decision following talks with Hampshire County Council and the Environment Agency to close the building following further heavy rainfall over the weekend.
It is the second school in Hampshire to fall victim to the flooding after staff at Fordingbridge Junior School took the decision to close the school tomorrow (Monday).
Despite the best efforts of parents and teachers who battled for hours to stop the flood water bursting inside the site, the rising levels in the playground and surrounding areas have made it impossible for the school to open tomorrow.
Teachers will be at the school on Monday to judge the situation and several contingency plans could be put into place if the school cannot be reopened.
Debbie Douglas, governor for building and grounds, said: “We have to close the school on Monday on health and safety grounds.
“If the school remains surrounded by water then arrangements will be made to see if we can go elsewhere.”
As reported yesterday, an army of teacher and parents responded to an appeal for help to stop the rising flood water getting inside the classrooms at the school and the neighbouring infant school.
Head teacher of the junior school Kim Robertson sent out a text asking for help and was soon greeted with scores of people willing to help fill sand bags and build defences along the schools perimeter.
Meanwhile the bad weather is continuing to cause problems across Hampshire.
Stoneham Lane in Southampton is today once again closed both ways due to flooding near Stoneham Park.
Many parts of Hampshire are still reeling from the adverse weather conditions.
Highways Agency engineers are currently on site in Angel Lane, Milford Road, in Lymington, after power cables fell overnight. The lane is currently closed while work is carried out.
The A337 near Boldre Lane in Lymington has been closed after a large tree fell this afternoon.
People living in communities affected by flooding have today been urged not to lift manhole covers.
Southern Water says it is taking emergency action in Romsey to prevent sewers from flooding following a record high rainfall across Hampshire. But the agency has warned people not to lift manhole covers after it found a number had been lifted to alleviate the situation.
Southern Water has stressed it can worsen the situation by letting in more water - overwhelming the sewers further.
A spokesman said: “Tankers have been in place, sucking floodwater from the sewers. We have also installed temporary pumps to pump floodwater out of the sewers.
“The flows, which are highly diluted with rainwater, will be screened to remove debris, before being pumped into the River Test. This is an emergency course of action known as over-pumping, and permission must be gained from the Environment Agency.
“Our aim is to ease the pressure on the sewers and reduce the risk of manholes overflowing.
“In addition, we have found a number of manhole covers have been lifted. We urge people not to do this as it can worsen the situation by letting in more water, overwhelming the sewers further. It also poses a health and safety risk as people may trip or fall on the raised cover.
“We thank customers for their understanding in this matter. We are working as part of a multi agency response in Romsey.”
HAMPSHIRE Fire and Rescue has filled more than 1,000 sandbags in the effort to help flood-hit Hampshire communities.
A total of 70 firefighters have worked with partners and communities to reduce the impact of the flooding, and the service’s major incident room has been in operation.
Firefighters filled 600 sandbags at Hampshire County Council’s Bar End depot to assist with the flood response in Winchester.
Six service personnel checked City Mill weird in Winchester for obstructions and worked closely with the Environment Agency to improve water flow and reduce the impact of flooding on the city.
A further 300 sandbags were deployed at Springvale in Kings Worthy, and two appliances provided emergency lighting, as well as deploying sandbags to assist at St Bede School.
Two appliances and eight personnel were deployed to Romsey to work with the Environment Agency to assist in preventing water running across Greatbridge Road into the town.
Meanwhile 150 sandbags were deployed to protect Riverside Gardens as two appliances and ten firefighters supported the local community to deal with flooding.
Around 80m of poly boom was deployed at Derritt Lane, Sopley, in the New Forest, to divert water from running down the lane and affecting properties.
Area manager Andy Bowers, who is heading up the fire services response to flooding, said: “We will continue to support vulnerable communities and those in need during the extreme weather we’ve been experiencing, and in dealing with the flooding it has caused.
“During significant or exceptional flooding events, or when they are forecast, we will continue to prioritise resources where life is at risk and to work with our partners to safeguard critical infrastructure, community assets and saveable property.’
“In these busy and challenging times, and when our resources cannot be spared from dealing with significant emergencies such as we have experienced due to the recent extreme weather, our control operators will continue to provide guidance and assistance on the telephone to 999 callers, as they always do in such situations.
“We will also continue to work with our partners from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Resilience Forum to assist in protecting community assets and infrastructure prior to major flooding events.”