Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Hampshire flooding exercise to rescue 'campers'

Flooding exercise at Hawley Lake
Image caption "Holidaymakers" were left stranded on top of their caravans when their fictional campsite flooded

A week after 40 houses in a Hampshire town were flooded following heavy rainfall, the area's emergency services are being put to the test.

Families had to be rescued from their homes by inflatable boats in the Bridge Street and St James Road area of Emsworth on 9 November.

On Thursday fire, police, coastguards and RNLI teams staged a rescue from a flooded campsite near Fleet.

The Hawley Lake exercise was designed to test their response to flooding.

MP 'rescued'

Hampshire and Sussex services had to rescue 10 stranded holidaymakers left clinging to trees at a flooded campsite in the fictional town of Littletonbridge.

Among the campers was Richard Benyon, Defra minister and MP for Newbury in Berkshire.

Image caption Alan Barwis photographed parked cars stuck in floodwater outside homes in Emsworth

An emergency flood protection team from the Environment Agency was also tasked to stop a nearby reservoir from overflowing by deploying portable flood barriers to protect the nearby town.

The regional flood-testing exercise was in preparation for Exercise Watermark taking place in March next year, when the whole country's flood response will be tested.

Taking part in the flood response demonstration were the Environment Agency, Hampshire Police, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, the Maritime Coastguard Agency, RNLI, EDF Energy and the Army.

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