RESIDENTS are fearing for the worst as a river threatens to burst its banks.

Villagers in Cheriton are anticipating that the River Itchen will breach tomorrow, and are preparing for the worst.

Sandbags have been placed along School Lane to divert flood water and Hill Houses Lane is flooded with groundwater running off the field.

Residents are currently using pumps to remove water from French drains around their properties.

Meanwhile, a smaller waterway linked to the river has already burst its bank, by the garage and post office in Cheriton.

Some residents have boarded the bottoms of their front doors and used sand bags to try and keep the water out.

Mark Bartlett, Pat Lawrence's next door neighbour on School Lane has praised the flood coordinators tireless efforts to keep the village in working order. He said: "Pat's a local hero and deserves recognition."

Cllr Harry Verny advised people not to flush their toilets. He said: "If everyone in the village flushes their toilet it pumps an extra 50,000 gallons of water through the water systems. Have a shower not a bath."

He said: "We have been clearing man hole covers, and drains, laying sandbags and trying to prepare as much as we can."

Roger and Alison Bennett, of the green, Cheriton, returned from a holiday to Barbados on Friday. Mrs Bennett said: "We hoped it would have stopped raining, but of course it hasn't. There's some way to go before our house would flood, so we are quite lucky.

"It's cold here, I'm planning my next holiday!"

Mr Bennett said: "I imagine if this carries on that the village green will be under water like it was in 2000."