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Patcham residents warned again of flood risk
UPDATE: Patcham residents are again bracing themselves for floods as water levels continue to rise, with some basement flooding already occuring and more rain forecast.
Officials from the council and the Environment Agency were out yesterday warning residents as the groundwater level rose to dangerously high levels.
As of 6.30am this morning, the level was 43.56m AOD (above ordnance datum) and rising, with experts predicting levels of 45m or more resulting in flooding come tomorrow afternoon.
On its website, the council said: "The ground water level has continued to steadily rise, and ... some basement flooding has occurred.
"At this rate we do not expect to see flooding at surface level before the early hours on Wednesday."
The Patcham flood warning was first given on Friday, but fortunately the levels did not rise over the danger levels last weekend.
However, more rain is now forecast, with severe weather warnings issued for Wednesday and Friday.
Residents in Old London Road and Ladies Mile Road are being told to prepare for possible evacuations by packing an overnight bag and arranging staying with friends and family.
The council's adult social care and housing team is visiting vulnerable people at risk of flooding.
It will also issue sandbags to houses without basements which might be affected by water running off the roads, should the need arise.
Sandbags cannot be used for basement flooding as they can prevent the water getting out.
A public meeting will take place today at 5pm in the Memorial Hall in Old London Road to issue further advice about what to do before, during and after flooding.
Vicky Price, 49, self-employed, of Southdown House Mews, just off Old London Road, said: "I'm thinking about moving my furniture upstairs but I don't think we will be the first to be flooded.
"It's frustrating because you can't do anything about it."
David Harris, 77, a retired helicopter pilot, who lives above Patcham Post Office, has been keeping up to date with all Environment Agency readings and sending memos to residents.
He said: "I'm telling people they need to check your pumps, check your insurance and make your own precautions and make sure they are in place."
"I'm putting up daily bulletins. I'm telling people to look after your own well being and I'm trying to make sure the authorities are properly co-ordinated"
The warnings came after the Co-Operative in London Road, Brighton, was flooded on Sunday.
A spokesperson for The Co-operative Food said: “Following the adverse weather conditions over the weekend one of the aisles in our London Road store in Brighton flooded.
"Our engineers are investigating the cause of the problem.
“The store has remained open throughout the weekend, although we had to close several aisles as a precaution, and we apologise to our customers for any inconvenience.”
The weather forecast again makes for grim reading as a further weather warning was issued by the Met Office for Friday, with heavy rain also expected on Saturday morning.
She said: “Heavy rain falling so soon after the previous batch would be expected to exacerbate problems with flooding.”
Both Patcham village and the London Road are built above the underground Wellesbourne River, which caused frequent flooding in the 19th century before the construction of the Patcham Waterworks which siphoned off water from the bourne.
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