STORMS and floods will mean a £1 million bill to repair Hampshire’s roads, councillors will be told today.
But the total cost of the wettest winter since records began could be even higher, a report due to be presented to the county council’s ruling Cabinet warns.
It says damage to highways is more than £1 million more than would “normally be expected”, while adding that the full damage to flood defences, drainage systems and other infrastructure will only become fully apparent when the water subsides.
It comes just days after Hampshire County Council passed a budget rubberstamping £93 million of cuts and hundreds of job losses.
Meanwhile flooding across the region is costing Southern Water more than £100,000 a day as it deploys tankers and pumps to tackle high water levels.
Heavy rainfall and storms over the past two months have brought flooding misery to communities across the county.
In Romsey the Environment Agency, council staff, Royal Navy and Army troops took part in a desperate battle to protect hundreds of homes from flooding.
In Winchester the waters were eventually kept at bay as a series of flood defences were put up, while huge bags of gravel were lowered into the River Itchen to slow the flow into the city.
Southern Water has deployed tankers and pumps in Romsey, Twyford, Hursley and Hambledon to tackle high water levels.
A spokesman said: “We have more than 60 tankers in operation across the South East and the cost of dealing with flooding has now risen to more than £100,000 a day.
“This is in addition to the £6 million we are investing to survey and seal sewers to help prevent infiltration from groundwater.”
Over the weekend Brigadier Andrew Hughes and Lieutenant Colonel Jo Fossey, who have been coordinating the military operation across Hampshire, briefed county council leader Roy Perry and Romsey MP Caroline Nokes on the efforts to save the town from the floodwaters during the past week.
Speaking after the briefing Ms Nokes said: “Seeing at first hand the rows and rows of sandbags protecting houses and then the engineering works on the River Test demonstrated the huge debt of gratitude we owe to the soldiers and sailors who came to our aid for their effort and ingenuity.”