Hampshire County Council is warning that more ‘unfavourable’ weather is on the way and is likely to impact on roads as repairs to potholes and damaged highways fall further behind.
Petersfield Hangers county councillor Russell Oppenheimer said: “Senior officers have attended a briefing with the Met Office and the Environment Agency.
“Unfortunately, it looks like there is more unfavourable weather on the way. The Met Office is suggesting February has the potential for more periods of stormy conditions and some further cold spells.”
The gloomy forecast comes as the council’s roads contractor Milestone Infrastructure struggles to recruit repair teams.
Cllr Oppenheimer added: “Service demand across the county remains extremely high.
“Milestone is doing everything it can to secure more gangs and equipment and when more resource becomes available, it is being deployed immediately.
“Our officers and contractors continue to work extended hours, including weekends, to try to keep on top of the situation.
“However, demand far exceeds capacity at the present time and consequently all work is having to be prioritised so the highest-risk issues are repaired first, and this will include the continued use of temporary ‘infill’ repairs.
“It will be many weeks, if not months, before we are back to anything like business as usual.”
Heavy and prolonged rainfall during late December and early January saw many saturated catchment areas in Hampshire, resulting in surface water flooding and ice problems on some roads.
Currently gully and manhole cleansing and ditch clearance is being prioritised to ensure that, at the very least, highway drainage systems are operational.