28th September 2020

Environment Winchester High Street left underwater after heavy rain

Environment Winchester High Street left underwater after heavy rain

Environment

Published

image copyrightGrant Mintram

image captionWinchester High Street was “like a river”, a witness said

Flooding has caused damage to shops and pavements as a city was deluged by heavy rain.

Winchester High Street was “like a river” on Thursday evening, leaving mud and debris on the road and in business premises, witnesses said.

The Environment Agency said more than half of the Hampshire city’s average August rainfall fell in 15 minutes.

Trains between Winchester and Micheldever have been diverted after a landslip blocked all rail lines.

image copyrightGrant Mintram

image captionThe Environment Agency recorded 35mm (1.4 inches) of rain in 15 minutes

image copyrightNetwork Rail

image captionA landslip blocked the rail line between Winchester and Micheldever

Andy Roberts from the Environment Agency said the rain caused 15 minutes of “complete havoc”.

He said: “People were stopping in the road. They could only see two metres in front of the car. It was absolute carnage.”

Mr Roberts said 35mm (1.4 inches) of rain fell in 15 minutes, representing “over half a month’s worth”.

image captionThe high street was strewn with piles of carpets and soggy rubbish on Friday morning
image captionMuddy water entered some shops

Debenhams worker Jimmy Milner said: “It was beyond a mess. It was like a river from 17:15. I was clearing my shop until about 20:00 last night. It’s not been like that for a long, long time.”

BBC reporter Dominic Blake said the street was strewn with piles of carpets and soggy rubbish on Friday morning, while many shops had mud inside them.

Hampshire County Council tweeted that highway teams were out overnight checking manhole and drain covers were secure, with more heavy rain forecast.

A landslip blocked all rail lines between Winchester and Micheldever on Thursday evening.

South Western Railway said cancellations and delays were expected until the end of Friday.

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