Huge bills as floods bring havoc to businesses across Hampshire

Daily Echo: Heartbreaking cost of the floods - and they're is still more to come Heartbreaking cost of the floods - and they're is still more to come

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IT has destroyed homes and crippled businesses but there is still no end in sight for those battling flood water in Hampshire.

Businesses have lost hundreds of thousands of pounds in just three days since the floods hit the county before the weekend.

Among those worst affected are firms on a Romsey industrial estate that were hit when the first flood water burst over the banks of the River Test.

It flooded factories and warehouses, leaving huge bills and damage in its wake.

Now the Environment Agency has warned that there will be yet more flooding to come, as river levels continue to rise.

Manufacturing has been suspended, deliveries halted and customers have been diverted as some in the industrial estate in Budds Lane found their businesses disappearing under water.

Staff who did manage to get into work have been battling tirelessly to keep as much water out as possible, but with yet more rain forecast for the rest of the week, they fear that their efforts may be in vain.

Daily Echo:

Sitting in his cold, dark office with more than a foot of flood water around his feet and his two motorbikes, Robert Eldridge doesn’t know what else he can do to save his business from further damage.

Robert owns Braishfield Garages Limited, in the Frobisher Industrial Centre.

Looking out at his workshop where everything is floating and cars are stranded, albeit dry, on ramps, he estimates that the flooding has cost him at least £60,000 worth of broken machinery.

He said: “We had to evacuate on Friday and we did manage to get all the cars to safety but I was shocked at the speed of the water. I couldn’t believe how quickly it came in.

“It is heartbreaking to see this.

You have to look at the positives and thank God that no one has been injured and that this isn’t a home, but it is very close to my heart.

“I think it will be at least two weeks before we can start to do any work and it will be a month before we are up and running doing MoTs again.

“Depending how long we are out of action for, this could potentially break us. It could be catastrophic.”

Daily Echo:

Down the road, Wessex Lift Company Limited is facing a similar nightmare, estimating the cost to be much more than £50,000 after its manufacturing warehouse flooded.

Manufacturing was stopped on Friday and staff have been working hard to try to pump out as much flood water as possible with so much electrical equipment on the ground.

Daily Echo:

Paul Hillman, operations director for the company, which makes lifts for disabled people, said: “We are in trouble.

“We have five expensive machines that are in water so they are unable to operate, plus we have stock that has been damaged and orders that we simply cannot fulfil at the moment.

“We have some very upset people but what can we do? But the staff have been absolutely fantastic, doing what they can to help, having to improvise to try to keep as much water out as possible.”

Daily Echo:

Opposite, Elliott Brothers is also closed and looks set to be for at least a week, costing it about £100,000.

Kevin Dady, branch manager, said: “We have had to close because customers just can’t get down to us. We are starting to work out of other branches but this could go on for weeks.”

Victoria Parnell, who owns Inspirations Hair Design on the industrial estate, is being forced to consider opening up her kitchen as a makeshift salon.

Daily Echo:

Although her salon has been lucky and has not suffered from flooding inside, the amount of water outside has made it almost impossible for her customers to get there and she has been forced to cancel all her appointments.

She said: “When people come to have their hair done they don’t want to have to swim here and back, so I’m looking to move it up to my kitchen.

“Some people won’t like the idea of having their hair done over the kitchen sink but for those who are going away and need it done, it’s the best we can offer at the moment.”

Comments (7)

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8:25am Tue 11 Feb 14

Gozza1 says...

From the headline: "and they're is still more to come"

Does ANYONE at the Echo have English as a first language?
From the headline: "and they're is still more to come" Does ANYONE at the Echo have English as a first language? Gozza1

9:23am Tue 11 Feb 14

hulla baloo says...

Build on natural water meadows and green areas, not dredge rivers, Victorian sewers etc, and this is the result.
But hey ho, shareholders are ok.
Build on natural water meadows and green areas, not dredge rivers, Victorian sewers etc, and this is the result. But hey ho, shareholders are ok. hulla baloo

10:03am Tue 11 Feb 14

Niel says...

Robert I hope your Ducati doesn't get too wet, you really ought to keep it on a bike lift... And I trust the Ferrari was at home!
Robert I hope your Ducati doesn't get too wet, you really ought to keep it on a bike lift... And I trust the Ferrari was at home! Niel

10:24am Tue 11 Feb 14

derek james says...

hulla baloo wrote:
Build on natural water meadows and green areas, not dredge rivers, Victorian sewers etc, and this is the result.
But hey ho, shareholders are ok.
just underlines the problem facing this country,mass immigration=massive new housing estates many on areas liable to flood
[quote][p][bold]hulla baloo[/bold] wrote: Build on natural water meadows and green areas, not dredge rivers, Victorian sewers etc, and this is the result. But hey ho, shareholders are ok.[/p][/quote]just underlines the problem facing this country,mass immigration=massive new housing estates many on areas liable to flood derek james

1:24pm Tue 11 Feb 14

southy says...

a few years ago the EA and the landowners closed sluice gates to all the side streams over flow, to stop the Salmon and Sea Trout from going up them to spawn, also the rivers have not been kept clear of weed, you only got to look at the Grayling stream water level is low where the gate is closed at the top its over grown with weed, the main stream the Test has not been cleared of weed for years
a few years ago the EA and the landowners closed sluice gates to all the side streams over flow, to stop the Salmon and Sea Trout from going up them to spawn, also the rivers have not been kept clear of weed, you only got to look at the Grayling stream water level is low where the gate is closed at the top its over grown with weed, the main stream the Test has not been cleared of weed for years southy

8:54pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Down to Earth & Sensible says...

No sympathy whatsoever. Complete lack of wisdom. If you set up a home or a business within a known flood plain or next to a river then this is inevitable eventually.As I say, a complete lack of wisdom and forethought.
No sympathy whatsoever. Complete lack of wisdom. If you set up a home or a business within a known flood plain or next to a river then this is inevitable eventually.As I say, a complete lack of wisdom and forethought. Down to Earth & Sensible

8:51am Wed 12 Feb 14

skeptik says...

Perhaps now the private sector will see what happens when politicians (in general and not party specific) make a mess of the public sector over many years. Cuts in funding, equipment, manning and infrastructure upkeep and repair. To save us all money - really? Why then after all of these money saving policies and privatizations of essential services are we paying more - we have to work many more days per year before we keep earnings - the tax days have gone up. We pay more for unemployment, more to support those on low wages and the 'wealth creators' are supporting more 'non jobs' whilst losing essential jobs. Maybe insurance companies should lobby their friends in parliament because their future looks bleak with these event booked for the future. Remember 'cuts mean efficiency' hah!
Perhaps now the private sector will see what happens when politicians (in general and not party specific) make a mess of the public sector over many years. Cuts in funding, equipment, manning and infrastructure upkeep and repair. To save us all money - really? Why then after all of these money saving policies and privatizations of essential services are we paying more - we have to work many more days per year before we keep earnings - the tax days have gone up. We pay more for unemployment, more to support those on low wages and the 'wealth creators' are supporting more 'non jobs' whilst losing essential jobs. Maybe insurance companies should lobby their friends in parliament because their future looks bleak with these event booked for the future. Remember 'cuts mean efficiency' hah! skeptik

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