Heavy rainfall causes disruption along south coast of England

Wet and windy weather is expected to continue into the weekend along the south-east coast of England, the Met Office said.

Anahita Hossein-Pour
Wednesday 25 October 2023 12:58 BST
Heavy flooding has hit the Isle of Wight (Mark Wheeler)
Heavy flooding has hit the Isle of Wight (Mark Wheeler)

Heavy and persistent rain has been causing travel and business disruption along the south coast of England on Wednesday.

The Isle of Wight has been recorded as the worst-hit in the south-east region from 3am to 9am on Wednesday morning, when an amber weather warning was in place.

Met Office spokesperson Stephen Dixon said provisional records show the Isle of Wight was hit with 60 millimetres of rain, while Efford in Hampshire recorded a provisional 22.7 millimetres of rainfall during the same period, and Thorney Island in West Sussex reported 22 millimetres.

While no weather warnings for the south-east region are currently in place, Mr Dixon said that wet and windy weather along the coasts of the English Channel is likely into the weekend.

Heavy rain flooding between Ryde Pier Head and Shanklin has meant trains on the Isle of Wight, Hampshire, have been unable to run on Wednesday morning, with expected disruption to last until the end of Thursday October 26, South Western Railway has said.

Mark Wheeler, who lives on the Isle of Wight, walked to Wootton Creek at around 10am on Wednesday to find cars driving through floods of water.

He said the road was closed off half an hour after taking a video.

The 66-year-old was due to volunteer at the Cats Protection charity in Ryde, just two miles from his home but realised “no way was I going to get there”.

He said: “The rain was torrential overnight, unusually so. Very unusual amount. I have lived here for about 12 years, I have never seen floods like that here before.”

The self-employed resident said the big problem will be for people trying to get to work, adding: “The buses can’t get through, they have had to reroute.

“I just think there is a huge amount of disruption on the island.”

One pub landlord in Gosport, Hampshire, woke up at around 3am as she heard the rain and went out with her next door neighbour to move their cars as they are often at risk of flooding.

Deana Geary, who owns The Junction Tavern, said her pub, which has floodgates, has previously been badly affected by flooding, including once in 2020 where she was forced to close the business for five-and-a-half weeks.

In the early hours of Wednesday, the 50-year-old and her neighbour moved dustbins across the top of the road to protect her pub from being flooded with water being splashed by fast-moving traffic.

She said: “Luckily enough we got out early enough, water this time hasn’t got into the pub.

“Every time it rains now, me and my next-door neighbour hold our breath, we don’t know how bad it’s going to get.”

Today the pub will be open for business but she says underlying drainage issues in the area persist and become an issue when “colossal amounts of rain” occur.

“I just want someone to fix it,” she said.

“I don’t expect working behind the bar to put a pair of wellies on at any moment.”

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