RAPIDLY rising groundwater is threatening to flood properties along the River Bourne within a week.

But Tidworth’s flood warden believes the town is ready to tackle any flooding head-on.

Groundwater levels measured at the Hazelbury Plantation borehole show the level is currently rising at 1.2 metres (4ft) a day as the continual succession of weather fronts bring heavy rainfall which seeps into the chalk downland sponge.

Tidworth flood warden Councillor Andrew Connolly said: “We have got away with it so far, but I don’t think we are going to get away with it.

“The latest figures show that the ground water is rising very, very sharply – 1.2 metres a day is a huge increase, and if it continues at this rate we have only got between five and seven days before ground water reaches the surface and we get some flooding.

“We now have a window of opportunity to get our act together.”

One action councils need to take is to ensure all gulleys are cleared in preparation for the water, enabling any surface water to pass through communities as efficiently as possible.

See the full story in this week's paper.