Test Valley Borough Council continues to work day and night to deliver sandbags to residents and businesses to help protect properties and alleviate flooding.
The authority has been working with the emergency services, military, Environment Agency, Hampshire County Council and other multi-agency partners to respond to the flooding. Hampshire County Council’s Highways team has also been working around the clock in Test Valley to deal with flooding on local roads.
So far more than 40,000 sandbags have been distributed across the borough. Council staff and multi-agency partners have also been busy delivering in excess of 1,000 letters to residents in properties which have already been flooded or are identified as at risk. The letters provide guidance and information about how to protect homes and the steps people should take should flooding occur. In addition, the authority has deployed housing officers to liaise with residents whose homes are at risk, to identify where there is a need to provide alternative accommodation.
Residents at risk of flooding can help protect themselves and their homes in a number of ways, including:
- Removing all furniture and valuables from the ground floor or raising them off the floor.
- Making their own sandbags by placing one plastic bag inside another and then filling it with soil.
- Unplugging any non-essential electrical items
- Avoiding walking through flood water and preventing children and pets from playing in it as the water can cause man hole covers to come off leaving hidden dangers.
- Avoiding driving through flood water as bow waves can cause damage to properties and just 30cm of water can float a car.
- Hiring pumps from local companies to help clear water from basements. Please note that any fuel-driven equipment should not be used indoors as petrol and diesel pumps and generators emit carbon monoxide within the exhaust gases, and these can be deadly. If in extreme circumstances this is not possible, ensure that working carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are placed in living spaces or wherever people are located in the house. If residents are using any fuel-driven device within two metres of their home they should ensure that all doors and windows are kept shut. Further information about carbon monoxide awareness can be found on the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service website.
Sandbags are available free of charge to those at imminent risk of flooding. Any residents requiring sandbags are asked to contact the council on 01264 368000 or 01794 527700.
Residents are reminded to keep checking the latest flooding information from the Environment Agency, local authority websites, social media and local radio.