FLOODING misery is continuing as rising waters are putting scores of people’s homes at risk in Ringwood and parts of the New Forest.

Residents in Ringwood told the Forest Journal the flooding could be the most severe in recent memory, however the Environment Agency said the river would not breach the town’s flood defences.

And several residents blamed Hampshire County Council for the high water levels, claiming that simple maintenance and drainage was being neglected.

On Monday (November 26) there were several flood warnings along parts of the River Avon, including Downton, Fordingbridge and Ringwood.

Staff from Hampshire County Council spent the night dealing with flooded roads and were pumping water from Kingsbury’s Lane in Ringwood.

Water levels in the middle Avon from Salisbury to Ringwood are rising while river and ground water levels are expected to remain high for several days.

Resident Thomas Clark, pictured, of Kingsbury’s Lane said: “I have never seen flood water like this before. The road has become a river and we are having to wade through knee-high water the minute we walk out of our front door.

“Most of us have put sandbags at the front of our homes to stop the flood water from getting into our properties. The council have not cleared the drains or removed the fallen leaves so the drains are getting blocked.”

Stubbings Meadow resident Dennis Whitfield said: “We are very wet here, fortunately the water has not reached our homes yet but the water levels are still rising.”

Ringwood Town Council’s flood warden Gloria O’Reilly told the Forest Journal that she was meeting with Hampshire County Council and the Environment Agency to tackle Ringwood’s flooding problems.

“As a town council we are very mindful about the problems that some parts of the town face with high water levels,” she said.

“At a meeting with the agencies we told them that we needed maintenance measures. There is much that can be done, for example some of the areas like Kingsbury’s Lane suffer with poor drainage. It is maintenance that is needed. Prevention is better than cure.”

She added: “Sandbags are available for free from Ringwood Cemetery. Three bags are allowed per person.”

Hampshire County Council had to responded to our request for a comment as the Journal went to press.