The rainfall on Friday 8 February 2019 was an exceptional weather event, though such events may be becoming more frequent. Since that day, the Parish Office has received several complaints about flooding around the village. It would appear the incidents described relate to surface water flooding. These incidents appear to have been repeated over much of the wider local area with many drivers reporting flooded roads as they drove home.
A weather station belonging to one parish councillor recorded an astonishing rain rate of 116mm per hour at 1625 on that Friday. Whilst this is a ‘moment-in-time’ reading it is worth reflecting that were it to rain for an hour at that pace, it would register around 15% of total average annual rainfall for the area. Locally, we experienced 37mm of rain over a 5-hour period.
Rowlands Castle PC has little or no powers in this regard. We understand from our local County Cllr, Marge Harvey, that Hampshire County Council replaced some of the drains on Bowes Hill a few years ago, and that the drains in the centre of the village were cleared last month with one repair being carried out as well.
Incidents of flash flooding may increase as global warming gathers momentum and periods of intense rainfall become more likely. Communities such as ours may have to live with the consequences of flash flooding unless we are prepared to spend very significant sums on increased drainage capacity.