Gates on the river Itchen at Bishopstoke Mill had to be closed last week to allow workers to clear it of obstructions after water levels began to rise.
The culvert had become blocked with debris and local County Councillor Andy Moore told Eastleigh News that he contacted the Environment Agency because he was concerned that nearby roads might be flooded.
The Ukip councillor described the river at Shears Mill as:
“A vortex with water levels four or five feet higher then usual. The only way to clear the blockage was to shut the locks.”
The environment agency told Eastleigh News that although Shears Mill belongs to Bishopstoke Parish Council and is not an EA structure, they sent a team out to assist.
A spokesperson for the agency said:
“The culvert under the mill was so severely blocked that little water was getting through, although there was no imminent risk of flooding to nearby properties.
“We returned to site on Wednesday, and over the day were able to lower water levels upstream and successfully clear some of the fallen trees and debris that were blocking the culvert.”
Cllr Moore said that he thought the incident was a ‘prime example of neglect’ and that flooding problems were being exacerbated as a result of years of government cuts.
“Long term we need investment, the whole river system needs looking at and dredging otherwise we could get into a situation like in other parts of the country.”
The Environment Agency told Eastleigh News more work will be carried out at the mill this week.
“It is a very restricted, confined space under the mill with a lot of compacted debris, so it will take some planning to get the work completed safely.”
Pic: Coutesy Environment Agency