With all of its Highways teams fully committed to dealing with the current flooding emergencies, Hampshire County Council is bolstering its frontline response to support the highways effort around the clock.
Staff are being moved from their normal day jobs to provide additional capacity. Around 100 employees, together with 200 from the Council's highways contractor Amey, have been working at full-stretch to keep Hampshire on the move, and now teams from Rights of Way, Landscaping and Transport Planning and other areas, are boosting the 24 hour operations.
Now another 40-50 extra staff have been moved to Highways to help the relief efforts in more than 100 communities across the county. Their duties will involve responding to requests for help and distributing and checking on road signs, and providing support where needed.
Since Christmas Eve, the County Council's Highways staff have responded to more than 7,000 incidents on the roads, including clearing around 1,000 fallen trees. So far, over 50,000 sandbags have been filled and deployed across Hampshire.
Councillor Seán Woodward, Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment, said: "With strong winds and more heavy rain due, we've directed all the resources we can to help tackle the flooding. With already saturated ground, there's nowhere for any additional water to go, so I think we can expect more roads to be flooded, and more trees to come down over the next 24 hours. We've taken staff from all sorts of areas of non-emergency work within the Council, to support our Highways staff who are already working shifts around the clock to help keep Hampshire moving. It really is a case of 'all hands to the pump'. I'd ask residents to please bear with us on non-emergency highways work and other transport and environment matters, while we deal with the current flooding situation.
"We try to keep the roads open as much as possible, but there are a number of main roads affected which include the A272, A32 and A3057. Despite these closures, the road network is coping relatively well. However, it's important that all motorists drive slowly and carefully for their own safety, and that of other road users, as well as for the houses adjacent to the roads in order to avoid water being washed in by the bow waves created by their vehicles."
Drivers are reminded to observe road closures and not to move signs, as they are in place for safety reasons.
People can report road problems online or by calling 01329 225393. Tune in to BBC Radio Solent and other local radio stations for traffic reports.
Follow @hantsconnect on Twitter for information and advice during the flooding.
If anyone has concerns about any older or vulnerable people in their community during times of adverse weather, they should call Adult Services on 01329 225390