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Ringwood on flood alert
PARTS of Ringwood have been put on flood alert by the Environment Agency after predictions of heavy rain.
The tributaries along the River Avon between Ringwood and Christchurch are most at risk.
Already, the rising water level of the River Avon has caused flooding in several nearby gardens at Stubbings Meadow, while in some parts the River Avon has burst its banks.
The warning was updated on August 24 and now the agency’s website states: “River levels remain high due to groundwater levels being higher than usual. Further rain is expected and the outlook remains unsettled. Intense showers could cause surface water flooding in areas around the edge of the New Forest.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and update this message as the situation changes.”
Farmer Richard Pierson, who owns several acres of riverside meadows, said: “I have never seen so much decimation of our birds in August ever. They have all been washed away by the floods and the rain.
“The horses on my fields are all right, because they have a dry lie. About half of their pastures are flooded. You expect to have flooding here in winter but not in August.”
Mr Pierson said he fears the problem has been made worse by weeds not being cut back.
The river level at Ringwood’s Riverside Terrace is 0.91 metres, which was recorded on Tuesday.
The typical river level range for this location is between 0.4 metres and 0.9 metres.
The highest river level ever reached at Riverside Terrace is 1.2 metres, which was recorded in March 2007.
Ringwood Town Council’s member for flooding Gloria O’Reilly said: “I think anyone who lives in the region near the river or close to the flood plain needs to be vigilant.
“The river near the Pocket Park has had burst riverbanks for the whole of the summer. I have seen the river higher though in the past.”
A spokesman for the Environment Agency told the Forest Journal that a decision had been made with Natural England to not cut weeds, but that residents could apply for a licence if they wanted to cut them.