SCHOOLS were shut, homes flooded, businesses plunged under water, roads closed and roofs blown off homes as the weather continued to wreak havoc across Hampshire.
The county endured another torrid weekend of heavy rainfall and severe winds – following more than a month of wet and stormy weather – which ripped the roof off a block of flats in Southampton.
And despite drier skies today, the worst is yet to come, with the Met Office forecasting days of downpours and severe winds until the end of the week.
Two Hampshire schools have already been forced to close following crisis talks as they fell victim to flood water.
Volunteers help at St Bedes School.
Fordingbridge Junior School and St Bede Church of England Primary School in Winchester will be closed today despite the best attempts of staff and parents filling and laying hundreds of sandbags to protect the buildings.
In Romsey, residents were forced to evacuate their homes as the flooding nightmare continued.
All the homes in Budds Lane were flooded after the River Test breached its banks.
And last night some residents demanded answers, claiming that the Environment Agency and Hampshire County Council were “conspicuous in their absence”.
Greatsbridge Road in Romsey, where a petrol station and nearby homes became submerged throughout the weekend, remained closed last night, while Southern Water urged people living in communities affected by flooding not to lift manhole covers.
It said that it was taking emergency action in Romsey to prevent sewers from flooding following record high rainfall across Hampshire.
But the agency warned people not to lift the covers after it found that a number had been pulled up to alleviate the situation – which they said was making things worse.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service says that it has helped to fill more than 1,000 sandbags in a huge effort to help flood-hit Hampshire communities.
A total of 70 firefighters worked with partners and communities to reduce the impact of flooding across the weekend.
They filled 600 sandbags at Hampshire County Council’s Bar End depot in Winchester, while a further 300 sandbags were deployed at Springvale in Kings Worthy, which was closed on Saturday.
In Lymington, work was under way to restore power lines that fell in the high winds in Angel Lane overnight on Saturday.
Southampton may have escaped widespread flooding but major roads were still forced to close.
Stoneham Lane was closed both ways due to flooding near Stoneham Park but has since re-opened, while Mansbridge Way reopened early on Saturday after succumbing to a deluge – but it could close again if more rain falls.
A total of 14 flood warnings from the Environment Agency were in place across Hampshire last night, while the Met Office warned that the region faces further heavy rain and strong winds until the end of the week.