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Disabled man trapped in flooded underpass
Buy this photo Stewart White was stranded for half-an-hour.
A DISABLED man has told how he was left scared and stranded in a flooded underpass when his wheelchair cut out.
Stewart White was making his way to Basingstoke hospital on February 3, where he is a volunteer, and had to travel through an underpass near the Leisure Park.
The 42-year-old, who has multiple sclerosis, said: “The water was about three-foot deep and I made it halfway but couldn’t get back when the wheelchair cut out.”
The father-of-two said the underpass has been flooded for around three weeks, but he has managed to pass through it before and did not realise the water had become even deeper.
He said: “I did have my phone on me but I was worried that I might drop the phone and it would go underwater.
“My wheelchair was completely underwater. I was scared. It was underwater for about half an hour.”
Mr White managed to call his father who came to rescue his son with the help of staff at a nearby garage, who pushed him out of the water.
He is now hoping that his wheelchair will work again, as he is not able to walk and relies on the wheelchair to get about.
Mr White, from Worting Road, Basingstoke, said: “There’s been a massive puddle for about three weeks, and it should have been sorted out.”
Councillor Seán Woodward, Hampshire County Council’s executive member for economy, transport and environment, said: “I was sorry to hear that a local resident had experienced difficulties due to the water levels in the subway to Basingstoke Leisure Park. The subway has now been closed until the water has cleared and the cause has been identified.
"Engineering staff have been monitoring the area, as the subway sits above the flood zone associated with the River Loddon and in times of severe rainfall, water can gather in the subway and up until now it was still useable. There are pumps to help prevent the subway from becoming flooded and if there is an issue with them specialist contractors will be mobilised.”
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