HAMPSHIRE County Council has thanked staff from the emergency services, the military and frontline services across the area for their response to this winter’s flooding crisis.

County council leader Councillor Roy Perry and Hampshire Lord-Lieutenant Dame Mary Fagan hosted a celebratory reception at the Great Hall, in Winchester, to pay tribute to all those involved in the frontline efforts to keep Hampshire safe during the wettest winter in more than 200 years.

Many areas across Hampshire were affected by the winter flooding, including Buckskin, which saw 87 homes evacuated in Grampian Way, Exmoor Close, Bodmin Close, Antrim Close, Prescelley Close, Quantock, Sperrin Close and Holyrood Court after February 8, when the properties were hit by groundwater flooding.

Across Hampshire, over 300 homes were flooded and around 100 households evacuated, with more than 1,000 fallen trees cleared from roads. Extra staff were brought in to ensure the majority of the highways network was safe and open, and some 92,000 sandbags deployed on roads and river banks.

Cllr Perry has also awarded grants of £5,000 each to the benevolent funds of the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force to acknowledge military personnel efforts.

Cllr Perry said: “The extreme weather this winter posed some tough challenges in Hampshire. It is a year we will not forget – not just for the flooding but for the lessons learned and accomplishments made, during such a challenging time.

“This year demonstrated the importance of partnerships and on behalf of the county council, I would like to express my gratitude to all those who played a part.

“We are indebted to the tremendous work undertaken by all those involved, and the co-operation demonstrated during these past months will, I am sure, put us in good stead for challenges we may face in the future.”