A major clear-up operation continues in the New Forest after the weekend’s storm and biggest tidal surge the area has seen for over 25 years.
Over the last week hundreds of council and multi agency staff have been working together around the clock to manage a variety of unprecedented incidents caused by the extreme weather conditions.
Swift action from New Forest District Council and partners prevented many homes from being flooded.
Around 7,500 sandbags were distributed and council officers are providing support to those affected, as well as clearing up and assessing work required along the coast.
Last Friday, the council set up an emergency control room at its Lyndhurst offices, staffed by council officers, the Police, Fire and Rescue Service, military, Hampshire County Council and Environment Agency following warning of a severe tidal surge for the Lymington area, which was expected to bring coastal flooding that evening.
In north Fordingbridge, residents under threat of flooding were saved when sandbags were successfully used to divert ground water away from their properties. The council is continuing to monitor the situation on a daily basis.
Across the district, the clear-up work is continuing while structures are being assessed for safety and security.
From an initial survey, around 40 beach huts have been lost along the coast at Hordle Cliffs and Milford-on-Sea, and up to a further 100 have been damaged. The council is continuing to assess the damage and implications for beach hut owners.
Hurst Spit has suffered significant loss from shingle being washed away, and now requires major repairs.
The council has been closely monitoring water levels at Stubbings Meadow mobile home park in Ringwood and offering assistance to residents.
Leader of the council, Councillor Barry Rickman, said: “Council staff and members have worked tirelessly to help residents affected by the floods and storm, and to clear debris, make repairs and ensure the area is safe.
“It’s times like this when the services the council provides truly come to light, and I thank our staff and members for their hard work. I am also grateful to residents for their kind words and support.
“We had robust plans in place to deal with these events and the recovery operation is running smoothly to ensure that residents are safe and businesses continue to operate. In short, the New Forest is still open and welcoming visitors.”