TORRENTIAL rain and gale-force winds caused flooding across the New Forest on Sunday morning.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service attended four incidents across the Forest after motorists became trapped in their cars after driving through flood water.

A man had to be rescued when his car became stuck in fast-flowing floodwater at Blissford Ford in Blissford at 10.30am.

A woman had to be rescued from her car after it got stuck in floodwater at Lawrence Lane, North Gorley just before 11am and a man was rescued from his car after getting stuck in floodwater at Eastfield Lane in Ringwood at 10.40am.

And with the tides set to be high over the next few days, making country lanes and farmland more prone to flooding, the service is warning motorists not to travel unless “absolutely necessary”.

And motorists are being urged not to attempt to drive through flooded roads or fords as the water is often deeper than it looks and may be moving quite fast.

Head of response delivery Andy Bowers said: “Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service will continue do its upmost to warn motorists of the risks of driving into deep water.

“Your vehicle may be swept away or become stranded. Vehicles can float away in just 2ft of water. If your vehicle stalls, leave it immediately if safe to do so and seek higher ground. Do not travel in heavy rain storms unless absolutely necessary.”

The Environment Agency issued nearly 70 flood alerts, mainly in the south east and south west, along with 30 flood warnings over the weekend.

Residents in Fordingbridge Road, Stuckton woke up on Sunday morning, to find the road had been replaced with a river.

Chris Young of Moyles Court School said: “With the road 2ft deep in water, people feared for their properties as the wake from inconsiderate motorists passing through the water at speed brought it perilously close to their front doors.

“However, there is always fun to be had in any situation and one family made the most of it by paddling their canoe up and down the road.”

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding people not to enter any flood water on foot. If you find yourself driving through it ensure you test your brakes on exiting.

Drivers should also slow down, drive in a low gear and keep revs up to maintain pressure in the exhaust to stop water getting in to the engine.

End of survey on flooding

A PUBLIC consultation to help with the fight against flooding in Hampshire has come to an end.

Under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010, Hamp-shire County Council has new responsibilities as a Lead Local Flood Authority, to manage the flood risk related to groundwater, surface water and ordinary watercourse flooding.

The Environment Agency remains responsible for coastal and main river flooding.

Hampshire residents were invited to pass on their knowledge and experience of flooding in their area or to confirm if the information the council holds about the extent and frequency of previous flooding is correct The Met Office is warning of increased risks of flooding in Hampshire this winter, with the ground already saturated from one of the wettest springs and summers on record.

The council will use the information from residents to create a Local Flood Risk Management Strategy.