THE effort to help flood-hit Hampshire has been bolstered after more staff were added to support the relief response.

Hampshire County Council has added an extra 40-50 staff to its highways department to deal with flooding emergencies across the county.

Around 100 employees, with 200 from the council’s highways contractor Amey, have been working at full stretch to keep Hampshire on the move.

Now teams from its rights of way, landscaping, transport planning, and other areas, have been deployed to support the round-the-clock emergency effort.

The move comes amid fears of further flooding and fallen trees.

Cllr Seán Woodward, the council’s executive member for economy, transport, and the environment, pictured below, said: “With strong winds and more heavy rain due, we’ve directed all the resources we can to help tackle the flooding.

“With already saturated ground, there’s nowhere for any additional water to go, so I think we can expect more roads to be flooded, and more trees to come down over the next 24 hours.

“We’ve taken staff from all sorts of areas of nonemergency work within the council to support our highways staff who are already working shifts around the clock to help keep Hampshire moving.

“It really is a case of ‘all hands to the pump’. I’d ask residents to please bear with us on non-emergency highways work and other transport and environment matters, while we deal with the current flooding situation.

“We try to keep the roads open as much as possible, but there are a number of main roads affected which include the A272, A32 and A3057. Despite these closures, the road network is coping relatively well.

However, it’s important that all motorists drive slowly and carefully for their own safety, and that of other road users, as well as for the houses adjacent to the roads in order to avoid water being washed in by the bow waves created by their vehicles.”