I went down there mid-morning to see if there was anything I could do to help, and found their back garden under several inches of water. It was a real shock to see it that way- we've spent many happy evenings eating and drinking in that garden over the years and have never seen it like that before.
Luckily, as of this moment, their house hasn't flooded, but the neighbouring properties all have and the water is still rising. They had managed to get hold of a decent pump (the last one in the shop) at 9am and were setting it up when I arrived. They'd moved anything important upstairs and are just praying that the water doesn't rise too much further and that the pump can keep it at bay.
We had 30mm of rain last night (according to my resident meteorologist - I sometimes feel he has missed his calling) and although the sun is shining and it's a beautiful day today, another storm is forecast tonight with more rain to come over the weekend, which isn't great news.
None of us has ever seen it like this before. En route to Mrs M's, I stopped off at a few other places round town where the water had risen and flooded the roads. It was pretty hairy in places and it's only because I know Romsey well that I was able to avoid getting stuck. Queues were forming all round town and it had that eerie feeling you get when you're in the middle of an emergency.
This is the view at the bottom of Fishlake Meadow's Road which leads on to Greatbridge. This is where the worst of the flooding is and no cars at all were even attempting to get through it.
I'd come prepared and was wearing wellies (remember the expensive ones from the Spring? They've been far too hot to wear all summer, making me gulp at wasting a fortune on them, but they have really come into their own this winter- no extra pairs of socks required and no cold feet either, hooray), but it was still too deep to walk through. On the other side of the road the water meadows are doing their job well, but even they are at the highest I've ever seen them, and it won't be long before they spill out onto the road as well....
I managed to park the car in town and walked down to Mrs M's. This was what I found when I got there....
|Mr and Mrs M's garden, under several inches of water. The property over the fence behind them is sitting in a lake with no discernible evidence of a garden being present at all and the water has come into their house, poor souls.|
|They managed to buy the last available pump at 9 o'clock this morning and were setting it up when I arrived.|
|The pump was letting the water out in the road out front, which was already under several inches of water|
|We couldn't believe cars will still coming through. They were creating enormous bow waves, which wasn't helping the flood-risk to the properties. Really, the road should have been closed.|
|This is the pavement, lurking somewhere beneath several inches of water|
|Lorries and vans driving through the floods|
|The road out the front of Mr and Mrs M's house.|
|Mrs M heading off to find some mesh to protect the pump|
|Greatbridge Road, Romsey.|
|Submerged pedestrian crossing|
|Greatbridge Road again, looking more like a river.|
This view of the land around Romsey (taken this morning from Green Hill) illustrates just how much water there is lying on the surface. The ground is so saturated there is no-where left for it to go....
|Romsey Abbey, which lies just to the right of the flooded meadows in the photos above.|
|If you look carefully you can see the water lying in a great lake behind the trees - bottom right|
Back at home and I have never felt so grateful that we live half-way up a hill. The small gate out front is flooded because the stream that runs along our hedge has breached its banks and overflowed, and the drainage pipe the runs under our drive (which is, frankly, piddly anyway and therefore not up to the job at all, and frequently has histrionics when there's rain), can't cope with all the water that we've had and so there is a small river running down the lane, and I did have to open the storm drain out back yesterday because the patio was filling up with water, but once it was open it drained away. Apart from that we are (at the moment) OK.
Apart from wanting to check that my dear friend was alright, I also wanted to get some pictures of the Lapwing flock that has been out on the pig fields in recent days. I estimate there are upwards of 50 birds in this flock (probably more), and as we were doing bird IDs yesterday at college and I mentioned them, I have since learnt that lapwings are not to be found as frequently as they once were, so I was doubly determined to get some photos of these chaps. I couldn't get all that close, but hopefully you can see what they are nevertheless!
They are particularly drawn to the muddy pig fields, probably as a food source. The girls didn't seem to mind their flying friends whooshing up, pee-witting (their country name is peewit for the call they make) and settling back down again with them while I snapped away...
This Cedar tree is something of a landmark for me. It's the only one around and I always look for it when I'm driving past. I think it is very beautiful.
When I got home, the dogs and I had a walk round the garden and our lovely little Robin appeared from nowhere, settled in the apple tree and had a good old sing-song. He is very obliging about photos and usually allows me to get right up close while he sings. I thought you might appreciate these pics, to cheer us all through what looks set to be another wet weekend....
I'll leave you with a pic of those two doggy people in the garden. When I got home from college yesterday, Pops had done a wee on the carpet that looked exactly like a dinosaur talking to a snake. I wish I'd taken a picture of it....
If you have a moment to send some positive thinking the way of Mr and Mrs M over the weekend, as they battle the rising waters around their home, that would be much appreciated. And also for my friend Sally, who was flooded out of her home on Christmas Eve, had just had the go-ahead that it had dried out enough to let her move back in, when the waters rose again on Tuesday and she was flooded for the second time. A foot of water all through her house.
Keep safe all,