Clean up begins following Emsworth floods

image captionAlan Barwis photographed parked cars stuck in floodwater outside homes in Emsworth

Residents have started a clean-up operation after about 40 houses in a Hampshire town were flooded following heavy rainfall.

Some families had to be rescued from their homes by inflatable boats in the Bridge Street and St James Road area of Emsworth on Tuesday.

There were reports of 5ft (1.5m) of floodwater in some homes, which submerged cars parked outside.

Fire and rescue crews from across the county were drafted in to help.

Homes were also flooded on the Isle of Wight, roads were closed and two schools were forced to shut.

Several other flooding incidents were reported in Denmead and Hayling Island in Hampshire.

'Blocked culvert'

Residents living in Emsworth were evacuated to the community centre.

Piles of carpet and furniture have started to appear outside the homes which were worse affected.

Resident Gillian Young said it was the first time the street had been flooded.

"Within about about an hour the water began to rise up through the floor boards, it was all caused by a blocked culvert.

"All the carpets will have to be replaced... everything downstairs is ruined.

"My neighbour has lived here for over 70 years and has never known anything like it."

The Environment Agency said: "So far, our evidence suggests the flooding was not caused by a blockage of the trash screen [on the culvert].

"We can't prevent flooding, but we can prepare and limit the damage where possible."

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