Emsworth gets back on track after flooding woe

Flooding in Emsworth. Pictures: Nick Vine
Flooding in Emsworth. Pictures: Nick Vine

THIS winter will be remembered for one thing by many Emsworth residents.

THIS winter will be remembered for one thing by many Emsworth residents.

High tides and heavy rain left Emsworth High Street under water – causing damage to buildings, businesses and homes.

Max Powell is a partner with his father at a family business, Sycamore Cars Southern Tyre and Battery Service in Havant Road.

“We are sort of getting back on track now,” he said.

“We’re just waiting for the insurance companies –they have been out and done assessments because we lost a lot of machinery in the floods.”

“But it is still flooding now – tanks are going up and down the main road, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, going backwards and forwards trying to clear the water.

“My dad knocked on my door at 5am on Christmas Eve and said he needed my help – the garage was literally knee-deep in water. We have just had another two heavy downpours and are nearly ankle-deep in water.

“It’s just crazy – this has never happened before, we’ve never been this badly affected – it’s like a river has burst its banks.”

However, one business owner had a lucky escape from the rising waters.

Jon Livitt runs the Millpond Bed and Breakfast on the A259.

“The flooding didn’t come in our house, but it was three inches away,” he said.

“The problem we have is the wash from lorries and 4x4s that go past along the main road. It is just waves from passing traffic that affects us.

“Thankfully, it is all tidal here so it goes away within half an hour – we were lucky. We have been here for three years now and have not been flooded – yet.”

The building was originally built as a pub in 1830.

But Jon said it would never have been built if they had known it was going to be flooded every few months.

“Local people tell us they have never known the pub – or bed and breakfast as it is now – to have been flooded.

“But who knows what might happen in the future. January 3 was the ‘big one’, with all three elements – high winds and tide and a lot of rainwater – all three came together.

“It was actually quite interesting to see the water gushing down from Slipper Road, I have never seen that before.

“I rather enjoyed watching it personally, but hopefully I won’t have to get my wellies on.”