STAFF at Andover storage company Britannia Leatherbarrows have been working flat out to give priority to home owners in the South who have been victims of flooding.

Andy Park, sales and marketing manager, said that the company's most experienced removal crews have been kept on 24-hour standby to assist with the recovery of household items when water has threatened to rise.

They are also called in after homes have been flooded and the water has receded enough to get in to a victim's property.

"It would have been a hectic few months for our facilities without the added problems caused by the flooding which we felt had to be given priority,'' he said.

"Commercial and residential removals and storage has been 35 per cent higher this year for us compared to autumn 1999, without accounting for flood operations.''

The company is working closely with insurance groups to ensure that claims assessors have easy access to property in storage that is part of flooded household claims.