ROMSEY's flood defences have been bolstered by thousands of sandbags.

Southampton-based National Gritting Services agreed to supply nearly 4,000 sandbags to help prevent further flooding in the town which has already been devastated by huge volumes of water after the River Test and Fishlake Stream bursts their banks at Greatbridge leaving homes and business in the Budds Lane area submerged.

Troops and Royal Navy personnel started deploying the sandbags in areas at risk this morning. This included Riverside Gardens, Greatbridge and the Mainstone.

People in Riverside Gardens, next to a tributary of the Test, were told by the police to prepare to evacuate their homes shortly after 3pm.

One resident who doesn't wish to be named said: “We were told to expect a surge of water because water further up the river was going to be released.”

Romsey MP Caroline Nokes contacted National Gritting Services group chairman Vijay Karia on Wednesday and asked them to help.

A further 40,000 sandbags will be available if needed, said Ms Nokes who commended National Gritting Services for coming to the aid of Romsey's flood stricken residents.

“NGS has ridden to the rescue” of residents said Ms Nokes who added: “NGS have just been amazing.”

Ms Nokes added: “With supplies of sandbags becoming a real problem for Romsey, Vijay simply said 'we have to help!' Given this weekend's forecast it was an incredibly fortuitous offer.”

Explaining that NGS was pleased to be help, Vijay Karia said “Caroline has worked unbelievably hard behind the scenes since the flooding started.

She told us on Wednesday night that Romsey faced severe flooding this weekend, that there was a shortage of sandbags, and that she was really worried for Romsey's residents.

"So obviously, we had to help - because my late father and our family takes seriously its responsibility to serve our local community. It is an ethic which has underpinned our commercial success over the years - the positive Karma of serving our local community has brought us success and wealth. In return for that success we want to offer some help the communities in which we were raised and still live.”