Residents in Midhurst warned of further floods

Pitsham Wood road turned into a lake
Pitsham Wood road turned into a lake

Residents across the Midhurst and Petworth area who are counting the cost of Monday’s flood misery have been warned to prepare for more heavy rain tomorrow (Friday, June 15).

Householders lost valuable equipment when garages flooded almost to their roofs.

The River Rother flooded at Woolbeding Bridge and at Trotton, and cars had to be towed from the rising water. There was more flooding at Stedham weir and the river broke its banks at Isling Bridge flooding the Balls Cross to Kirdford Road, stranding the many motorists who were using it as a diversion when the A272 was closed at Petworth.

A Met Office spokesman said the area received a month’s rain in six hours and at Fernhurst a record 50mm of rain fell overnight on Sunday, flooding gardens and making roads impassable.

But the good news is Southern Water has announced it is lifting its water restrictions today. The hosepipe ban brought in on April 5 was quickly followed by downpours for the rest of April, which was the wettest on record.

“This wet weather continued throughout most of May and into June and has helped boost water sources and importantly, keep down demand for water,” said a spokesman.

The company’s four reservoirs are all more than 80 percent full – some 35 percent higher than they were at the start of March – and underground aquifers which give the Midhurst and Petworth area its water supplies have also been recharged.

“Some sources are still below average but the majority are no longer in drought status,” said the spokesman.

“While our focus remains firmly on helping to deal with the aftermath of the torrential rain and flooding over the last few days it is also right for us to lift the water restrictions.

“We have seen a great response from customers and demand has dropped considerably as a result of the wet weather and customers doing their bit and we are very grateful for their continued support.”

Chichester District Council is today advising people to prepare for more misery as Met Officers warn of further heavy rain tomorrow.

“The bad weather is likely to return and so we want to advise residents to make sure they are prepared,” said Cllr John Connor, cabinet member for the environment.

“Our website (www.chichester.gov.uk) offers advice on where sandbags can be purchased and what you should do if your house is flooded. It also offers key tips on how to prevent flooding.”