Emsworth homes evacuated after flooding
Crews rescued a woman and her one-week-old baby from their home Continue reading the main story
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About 40 homes in Emsworth in east Hampshire have been flooded, with half of them being evacuated.
Heavy rain overnight led to severe flooding in the town, with Bridge Road and St James Road being the worst-affected areas.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service were called at about 0800 GMT with reports of 5ft (1.5m) of floodwater in some homes and cars submerged in the street.
Residents were being moved from their homes in inflatable boats.
One woman had to be rescued from her home along with her one-week-old baby.
Emsworth Community Centre has been opened for householders who have been forced from their homes by the floodwater.
Car roof level
About 40 people have been moved from their homes but another 38 people have chosen to stay despite the flooding, Dave Smith, station manager from Cosham fire station said.
He said many of the homes were under "quite a lot of water".
"The sort of water levels we're talking about is up to car roof level," he said.
Alan Barwis photographed parked cars stuck in floodwater outside homes in Emsworth "Fortunately we've got no bungalows affected, they're all two-storey premises. If there were bungalows they would be the first priority to be evacuated.
"For those who are [staying] in affected properties, it's a case of reassuring them that everything is being done possible to ensure their welfare and safety.
"In conjunction with the police water rescue unit we are going out and checking back gardens and sheds to make sure all the pets are OK."
Fire and rescue crews from across the county were drafted in to help.
Several other flooding incidents were reported in Denmead and Hayling Island in Hampshire and in Ryde on the Isle of Wight, where Monktonmead Brook has burst its banks.
A fire and rescue service spokesman urged motorists to avoid flooded roads and advised pedestrians not to attempt to cross flooded streets.
He said: "The water is often deeper than it looks and may be moving quite fast. Your vehicle may be swept away or become stranded.
"Even shallow water moving fast can sweep you off your feet and there may be hidden dangers such as open drains, damaged road surfaces, submerged debris or deep channels.
"These can cause serious injuries or even death."