Clean-up after sewage floods Portsmouth

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The Independent Online

Householders are today beginning a massive clear-up operation after their homes were flooded with raw sewage in flash floods.

Householders are today beginning a massive clear-up operation after their homes were flooded with raw sewage in flash floods.

Areas of Southsea, Portsmouth, were covered by 5ft of water yesterday when more than 6cm of rain - the average rainfall for the entire month - fell in just one day.

A pumping station was swamped by the torrential rain, causing a total power failure which allowed raw sewage to escape into the floodwaters from the city's drains.

The Royal Navy, firefighters, police and volunteers all helped to pump the contaminated water out of city streets, but water was still above kerb-level in some areas today.

Coastguards kept 18 lifeboats on standby in Southsea to help rescue people from the rising water, but council officials said today that just one family had been moved.

It had been feared that up to 2,000 residents could be affected as the floods hit 21 roads in the densely-populated area of the city.

A home in Kent was badly damaged by a fire started by a lightning strike during last night's severe storm.

Twenty firefighters were needed to put out the blaze at the two-storey house in Church Street, Nonington, at 10.50pm.

The brigade also attended several incidents of minor flooding in the Thanet area between 11pm and midnight.

A spokeswoman for East Sussex Fire Brigade said it had dealt with two incidents of minor flooding to homes in Brighton at 10pm.

An Environment Agency spokesman said that despite heavy rainfall in Kent and Sussex the two counties did not experience flash floods.

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