HAMPSHIRE County Council has thanked staff from the emergency services, the military and frontline services across Hampshire for their response to this winter’s flooding crisis.

Leader of the county council, Councillor Roy Perry and Lord Lieutenant for Hampshire, Dame Mary Fagan hosted a celebratory reception at the Great Hall, in Winchester on April 29 to pay tribute to all those who were involved in the frontline efforts to keep Hampshire safe during the wettest winter in more than 200 years.

Many areas across Hampshire were affected by the winter flooding, including Buckskin which saw a total of 87 homes evacuated in Grampian Way, Exmoor Close, Bodmin Close, Antrim Close, Prescelley Close, Quantock, Sperrin Close and Holyrood Court after February 8, when the properties were hit by groundwater flooding.

Across Hampshire over 300 homes were flooded and around 100 households evacuated, with more than 1,000 fallen trees cleared from roads. Extra staff were brought in to ensure the majority of the highways network was safe and open, and around 92,000 sandbags were deployed on roads and river banks.

The county cuncil Leader has also awarded grants of £5,000 each, to the benevolent funds of the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force to acknowledge the efforts of the military personnel.

Cllr Roy Perry said: “The extreme weather this winter posed some tough challenges in Hampshire. It is a year we will not forget; not just for the flooding but for the lessons learned and accomplishments made, during such a challenging time.

“Importantly, this year demonstrated the importance of partnerships and on behalf of the county council, I would like to express my gratitude to all those who played a part.”

He added: “We received tremendous support from the emergency services and from district councils, and from the armed forces who played an integral role in averting further flooding from rivers in Winchester and Romsey.

“Our highways partner, Amey, worked tirelessly tackling problems on our roads, and our thanks also go to our Accredited Community Safety Officers, utilities companies and the Environment Agency.

“We are indebted to the tremendous work undertaken by all those involved, and the cooperation demonstrated during these past months will, I am sure, put us in good stead for challenges we may face in the future.”