On Sunday, Nick Gibb MP met residents in Addison Way, Bersted who have been flooded by the recent storm, heavy rainfall and the overflowing of the Aldingbourne Rife.
The street is currently flooded to a depth approaching one foot and some homes have had water enter conservatories and garages. People are protecting their homes with sandbags and improvised flood defences.
Nick Gibb said, “Residents in Addison Way are clearly worried about the rising water level approaching - and in some cases entering - their homes, with all the damage that water can cause.
“This water is undoubtedly contaminated by the overwhelmed sewerage system.
“For years local farmers and residents have complained that the Environment Agency has failed to dredge the Aldingbourne and Lidsey Rifes and to remove the silt. We need the Rife to perform its historic role of protecting the area from flooding, particularly during periods of heavy rainfall.
“I will be seeking an urgent meeting with the Environment Agency to urge them yet again to commit resources to de-silting the Rife network, which is so crucial to protecting homes in this low lying area so close to the sea. We need to help the water flow down to the outfall not hinder its progress with silt and overgrown reeds.
“We also need significantly more tankers to take away the water from Addison Way. Some tankers have been commissioned by Southern Water, but given the scale of the flooding we need more.
“Local councillor Keir Greenway has played a magnificent role in supporting residents and keeping them informed, as has local resident Tim Rose. Thank you to you both.”
Photo: Cllr Keir Greenway with Nick Gibb standing in flooded Addison Way.