Buckskin woman hopes ditch in garden will protect her home from rising flood water

Janet Littlewood got a relative to dig a ditch in her garden in an attempt to ward off the flood water.

Janet Littlewood got a relative to dig a ditch in her garden in an attempt to ward off the flood water. Buy this photo

First published in News by , Senior Reporter

THE powers-that-be said do what you can to protect your homes – so when Janet Littlewood became worried about the floodwater in Buckskin, she asked a relative to dig a ditch around her house.

The 45-year-old watched in horror as the floodwater rose around her home in Antrim Close, where she lives with her partner and child.

She said: “The council said we could do whatever we could to protect our homes. My brother-in-law works as a groundsman, and he brought a tractor here and we dug a ditch.

“It took a couple of hours and we were using spades at first. Everybody has been working together and helping neighbours.”

Alan Taylor, 67, also of Antrim Close, watched as floodwater reached his front door. Thankfully, no water had come into his house by Monday, but it flooded his back garden.

He said that nearby Blackdown Close floods regularly, but last weekend, the flooding spread.

Mr Taylor said: “This is the first time it’s happened, and I have been here since the estate opened in 1978.

“It has been a worrying experience. Where we are is the lowest point in the street. When the drains are clear, the water disappears, but it has gradually built up and up.”

Last Sunday evening, Karen Jones had to leave her Antrim Close home with her husband and four children and spend the night at the Premier Inn at Basingstoke Leisure Park.

With the help of workers from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, the family moved their possessions to the first floor, leaving a table and cooker on concrete blocks.

While their house had not flooded by Monday, the water had reached her door and flooded her garden.

The 33-year-old care worker said: “Everyone on Facebook has been slating the council but they are the ones who have been helping us – I can’t fault them. The people from Thames Water haven’t shown their faces.”

Louise Newland was evacuated from Antrim Close with her husband, Alan, 40, and their two children Shannon, six and Matthew, one. The family are now staying with Louise’s father in another part of Buckskin.

Louise, 40, said: “When we realised there was water rising up through the floor, we left as soon as we could.

“It was a shock but you have to just get on with it. Most people have really been pulling together, helping each other with sandbags and to move possessions. I’ve got no idea when we’ll be back in our home.”

Extra police patrols are protecting people’s properties in affected areas.

Comments (9)

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8:46am Fri 14 Feb 14

nothingchanges says...

Surely this isn't her garden but the communal land in between the houses that either the council or housing association own? I hope she got permission and will, of course, put it back to how it was once the flood water subsides.

Also, is it me but if the flood water is appearing due to a rising water table, how is a small ditch running away from her front door going to help in any way?
Surely this isn't her garden but the communal land in between the houses that either the council or housing association own? I hope she got permission and will, of course, put it back to how it was once the flood water subsides. Also, is it me but if the flood water is appearing due to a rising water table, how is a small ditch running away from her front door going to help in any way? nothingchanges
  • Score: 0

7:35pm Fri 14 Feb 14

red_fish says...

Absolutely brilliant ..why couldn't the council come up with such an easy solution...let's dig some more big holes to put the water in...unbelievable...
think the council should have been a bit more careful with their choice of words.
Absolutely brilliant ..why couldn't the council come up with such an easy solution...let's dig some more big holes to put the water in...unbelievable... think the council should have been a bit more careful with their choice of words. red_fish
  • Score: -3

8:20am Mon 17 Feb 14

Buster Preciation says...

Can someone explain how digging a ditch helps? Surely the floodwater will just fill it up and then just carry on going. It's not a ditch you need but a bank. Or should the report have called it a 'channel' to take the water away to a lower level?
Can someone explain how digging a ditch helps? Surely the floodwater will just fill it up and then just carry on going. It's not a ditch you need but a bank. Or should the report have called it a 'channel' to take the water away to a lower level? Buster Preciation
  • Score: 8

8:40am Mon 17 Feb 14

nothingchanges says...

I drove past this mess at the weekend and the land the 'ditch' is on is higher than that of her own garden and front door! So there is no physical way that this ridiculous idea is going to help! The water table is so high, ditch or not, the water is there, rising from below - there's pretty much nothing that can be done to stop it unfortunately.

Hopefully the council will make her pay to return it to how it was before she vandalised it although somehow I expect not.
I drove past this mess at the weekend and the land the 'ditch' is on is higher than that of her own garden and front door! So there is no physical way that this ridiculous idea is going to help! The water table is so high, ditch or not, the water is there, rising from below - there's pretty much nothing that can be done to stop it unfortunately. Hopefully the council will make her pay to return it to how it was before she vandalised it although somehow I expect not. nothingchanges
  • Score: 8

9:16am Mon 17 Feb 14

laurence86 says...

More importantly she is not wearing a high visibility jacket or hard hat!
More importantly she is not wearing a high visibility jacket or hard hat! laurence86
  • Score: 2

3:52pm Mon 17 Feb 14

JJ38JJ says...

Buster Preciation wrote:
Can someone explain how digging a ditch helps? Surely the floodwater will just fill it up and then just carry on going. It's not a ditch you need but a bank. Or should the report have called it a 'channel' to take the water away to a lower level?
Apparently "It has been a worrying experience. Where we are is the lowest point in the street" so digging a ditch will achieve nothing other than create a sump. Still, if she's happy ......
[quote][p][bold]Buster Preciation[/bold] wrote: Can someone explain how digging a ditch helps? Surely the floodwater will just fill it up and then just carry on going. It's not a ditch you need but a bank. Or should the report have called it a 'channel' to take the water away to a lower level?[/p][/quote]Apparently "It has been a worrying experience. Where we are is the lowest point in the street" so digging a ditch will achieve nothing other than create a sump. Still, if she's happy ...... JJ38JJ
  • Score: 3

11:48pm Tue 18 Feb 14

deepinsight says...

Can she do that on land that isn't hers?

Reminds me of the days in the Somme....
Can she do that on land that isn't hers? Reminds me of the days in the Somme.... deepinsight
  • Score: 2

9:26am Wed 19 Feb 14

Flooded Resident says...

For all you people making negative comments regarding the trench that was dug to try to keep the sewage water that was coming up in the front garden away from all 4 houses. Have you all been flooded and lost your houses?? I see one person has commented on being at the lowest point so you must know what it was like to do all you could to save your house? Or did you not even try? We were told by the council to do whatever we could to protect the houses and the trench was dug before 1-4 Antrim Close had water in them. The whole point was to try and stop the water flooding these houses. The council, despite being told Saturday then needed to act, failed to do so. Response to "nothing changes" if you actually bothered to look at the trench that was dug it runs away from the house lower than lower than front garden and door so YES it was taken the water away so get your fact rights before you start posting stupid comments!! You are obviously not effected if all you are doing is driving past so probably have no idea what it is like and you obviously have nothing better to do then put stupid comments on the Gazette website. Why don't you do something positive and help all the effected people who have lost their homes? With regards to putting the land back to how it was the whole area needs digging up and all the drainage pipes re-done to make sure this doesn't happen again.
For all you people making negative comments regarding the trench that was dug to try to keep the sewage water that was coming up in the front garden away from all 4 houses. Have you all been flooded and lost your houses?? I see one person has commented on being at the lowest point so you must know what it was like to do all you could to save your house? Or did you not even try? We were told by the council to do whatever we could to protect the houses and the trench was dug before 1-4 Antrim Close had water in them. The whole point was to try and stop the water flooding these houses. The council, despite being told Saturday then needed to act, failed to do so. Response to "nothing changes" if you actually bothered to look at the trench that was dug it runs away from the house lower than lower than front garden and door so YES it was taken the water away so get your fact rights before you start posting stupid comments!! You are obviously not effected if all you are doing is driving past so probably have no idea what it is like and you obviously have nothing better to do then put stupid comments on the Gazette website. Why don't you do something positive and help all the effected people who have lost their homes? With regards to putting the land back to how it was the whole area needs digging up and all the drainage pipes re-done to make sure this doesn't happen again. Flooded Resident
  • Score: -6

3:35pm Wed 19 Feb 14

deepinsight says...

I'm deeply affected by those comments...
I'm deeply affected by those comments... deepinsight
  • Score: 3

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