"Businesses are responsible for their own disposal of damaged items", the Isle of Wight Council has said, after shopkeepers affected by overnight flooding hit out at a 'lack of support'.

The local authority insists it had "people on the ground all morning" visiting businesses and residential properties in Cowes.

High tides wreaked havoc in the high street on Monday night (April 8) into Tuesday morning (April 9).

Some businesses told the County Press the floods had done thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Read more: "It's horrendous and quite shocking" say flood-hit Cowes businesses

While others needed help clearing bin bags full of drenched items, but said the council would not take them away.

Maria Guy and Steve Morris from shop Mia said: "We've been hit by this and doing our best to get the shop up and running with no support from the council".

They also said they face the prospect of being fined if they do not dispose of the waste.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Paul, from That Shop, said once the bin liners are cleared, he can start trading again.

"We want the council down here to help clear it", he said.

In a statement to the County Press, the council said: "Following various discussions, local businesses affected by flooding are responsible for safe and legal collection of their waste/ damaged items caused by flooding.

"Businesses will have their own contracted private waste carriers who they will be able to contact to dispose of any items."

Isle of Wight County Press:

A spokesperson said before businesses undertake clean-up work, they should report any property flooding to the Environment Agency, and contact their insurance company for advice on the removal of damaged property. 

"Insurance companies should provide information to their clients of professional companies who have the experience and the relevant equipment to clean up after flooding events", the spokesperson said.

At the Anchor Inn, staff suspect sewage came up through the floor.

The council said if businesses choose to clean up themselves, they should wear the correct PPE to safeguard themselves against any pathogens in sewer water and advice can be found on its website, HERE.

"The main rule when considering what to keep and what to get rid of after a sewage spill is: if in doubt, throw it out", the authority said.

"Once all contaminated items have been properly bagged up, including all cleaning materials; mops and cloths, they should be left in a secure place, away from the general public.

"Businesses should contact their private waste management team to collect, notifying them it is items damaged by flood water and possibly contaminated with sewer water.

"Reduce the risk of cross contamination by always washing hands (even after wearing gloves) and using antibacterial gel. Wash all clothes worn while cleaning in a separate load from other garments."