THREE organisations are striving to solve a major flooding problem which caused traffic chaos in the centre of Southampton.

The city council has joined forces with Southern Water and Associated British Ports (ABP) in a bid to prevent parts of Millbrook Road West disappearing beneath several inches of water after heavy rain.

Civic chiefs are anxious to resolve what they describe as a "complex issue" which results in "highly disruptive" flooding.

New Forest Post:

As reported in the Daily Echo, one stretch of Millbrook Road West was left looking like a river on Tuesday after hours of torrential rain.

One driver was rescued from his vehicle and two lanes of the westbound carriageway had to be closed for part of the rush-hour.

It was the latest in a series of flooding incidents at Millbrook Road West, which was built on land which formed part of the city's shoreline before a major reclamation scheme was carried out by ABP.

A council spokesman said: "The issue of flooding is not due to blocked gullies or maintenance issues managed by our highways team.

"This is a complex situation involving infrastructure owned by a number of other stakeholders, including ABP and Southern Water, and not Southampton City Council.

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"The Millbrook Road West/Paynes Road junction, where the flooding occurred, is the point at which multiple surface water sewers draining large areas of Freemantle meet and flow into a pipe under the railway line."

The spokesman also referred two surface water sewers which flow into a single chamber.

He said: "These merge into another surface water sewer, owned by Southern Water, before connecting into a pipe owned by ABP. This pipe is then drained by a nearby pumping station owned and manually operated by ABP.

"The Southern Water sewer is deemed to have insufficient capacity."

The spokesman said water was unable to drain away from gullies, adding: "In many cases it will appear that water is flowing out of the gully once capacity within the gully itself has been filled. This does not mean the gully is blocked - water simply has nowhere else to go.

"We will continue to work with partners to try and find viable solutions to this complex issue that results in highly disruptive flooding.

"In addition, Southampton City Council will be looking into options to manage water elsewhere in the catchment in an attempt to reduce water volumes arriving at this critical location."

New Forest Post:

A Southern Water spokesman added: "The responsibility for drainage is complex, involving a number of stakeholders.

"The flooding in the Millbrook Road West area is currently being investigated and is likely due to a combination of factors involving all stakeholders’ assets.

"We have contacted the council's flood risk management team requesting that we work collaboratively to better understand the root cause of this incident, the level of protection provided by the drainage system and potential mitigation measures which could be implemented to reduce flood risk where required."