Andover and Villages was in Barton Stacey today, and by sheer coincidence our reporter met the Deputy Mayor of Test Valley and local Barton Stacey resident, Cllr Jan Lovell. Jan kindly introduced a good number of local residents, including the Parish Council Chairman, Sue Gaines.
Walking from the village shop along the road to the A30, it soon became apparent that the local pumping station was flooded, despite the good number of sandbags placed to stem the flow.
The road out to the A30 was one area of bad flooding. While we were there, it was pleasing to see that the local post office van drove at a slow speed through the water, causing minimum splashing.
Ollie Gadney told us that, yesterday, a car had driven far too fast into the water, causing a bow wave that swamped the car and stopped the engine. The car was pushed out and the RAC had to be called.
Local resident, Andy Glenister, whose own house is right on the edge of the flooded area, commented to Andover and Villages on the work of the two chaps from the Hampshire Highways, who cleared out the drain pipework, removing a great mass of tree roots, fallen leaves and silt. This enabled the water to be cleared from the huge pool, which had built up across the road and to flow properly into the overall drainage system (such as it is).
Andy went on to praise the sterling work of Gavin, Ollie and their army of helpers in sorting out the flooded road with sandbagging and sweeping. They channelled the huge pool of water towards the then-cleared drain and away from the houses.
The road into the village from the west was passable, although the winter-bourne had taken to flowing over and along the road, rather than following its usual course under the bridge!
Chairman of the Parish Council, Cllr Sue Gaines, said, “Steve Spender, from Hampshire County Council, deserves a medal. His team stayed on far longer than they needed to and cleared out a blocked drain to get the water flowing.”
Cllr Gaines also praised a recent seminar run by the County Council, which has proved most fortuitous, as it gave contact details of the relevant departments to call.
Fortunately, none of the properties had their thresholds breached by the rising waters, but for some, it was a very close run thing.
Andover and Villages got an overall sense of camaraderie across Barton Stacey, with everyone pulling together. Our reporter was very taken by the very positive atmosphere in the Village. Borough Councillor, Jim Neal, was also there, with his sleeves rolled up, helping to move sandbags into place to protect local properties.