Floods misery in Oxfordshire as rain pours down

Floods misery in Oxfordshire as rain pours down

Firefighters pump water from the garden of a house in Bladon after water came up through the floorboards

the holiday site next to Bablock Hythe Caravan Park, near Northmoor

First published in News Herald Series: Photograph of the Author by , Council Reporter, also covering Oxford city centre. Call me on 01865 425429

RESIDENTS spent the weekend watching firefighters pump water from their homes after more heavy downpours across the county.

More than 22mm (0.9in) of rain fell in Oxfordshire in the 24 hours leading up to 8am on Sunday and up to 45mm (1.8in) was expected overnight and today.

Bladon resident Tim Massey found himself having to pull up the floorboards of his house yesterday to allow firefighters to pump out the water which had pooled underneath.

He said: “I got up at 2.15am and saw water gushing down the road but I thought we were going to be all right. When I came down at 7.30am the water in our house was about an inch above floor level. We have taken out the carpet in one of our rooms and lifted the floorboards out so the fire brigade can get their pump in and get the water out.

“It has gone into every cupboard, which is a blow. I don’t know what the damage is yet but many people are worse off.”

Firefighters also pumped water from a home in Begbroke and helped with sandbagging and moving furniture in Fewcott, near Bicester, Swerford, near Banbury, and Field Assarts, near Witney, yesterday. People in Bablock Hythe Caravan Park, near Northmoor, were yesterday preparing for the worst as the neighbouring holiday caravan site was flooded out.

But the caravans themselves were not flooded as they had been raised up on stilts following the devastating floods of July 2007.

Caravan park resident Vera Hawkins, in her 70s, travelled home yesterday from Kent to find floodwater turning fields into lakes around her home.

She said: “I’ve never seen it as bad as this. The river has completely run its banks and all the fields were flooded on the way in.

“It’s horrifying and what is going to happen now I don’t know. I’m concerned if a lot more rain falls overnight.”

Holiday park resident Carol Fletcher, 60, whose husband maintains the site, returned from seeing family in Sussex to find their raised home dry but surrounded by water.

She said: “As we left yesterday the river was breaking its banks and we have come home to this.

“We are in a flood plain and we flood every year, but it’s come very quickly this time and we weren’t expecting it to be as bad as this.”

Oxfordshire saw 13 properties – 10 in Bloxham, two in Adderbury and the Mill Arts Centre in Banbury – flooded by Friday. A further five properties flooded in Dog Close, Adderbury, yesterday. The county council says it received about 50 calls over the weekend relating to highway flooding or fallen trees and branches.

Teams attended incidents relating to trees at the B480 Watlington; A338 West Hanney; B481 Nettlebed; A415 between Abingdon and Culham; B4019 between Faringdon and Coleshill; A422 at Wroxton; Hopcross Holt, Steeple Aston; Cumnor Road, Farmoor; A415 Kingston Bagpuize; Fulscot Bridge, Didcot and B481 at Nettlebed.

FLOODS ACTION

  • Oxfordshire County Council has handed out almost 4,500 sandbags since the heavy rain started last week.
  • The council had 60 members of staff on duty over the weekend and received about 50 calls relating to flooded roads and felled trees.
  • Oxfordshire saw about 20 incidents of fallen trees over the weekend.
  • County council staff have also been attending highway flooding in the A417 at West Challow, House Park Lane Swalcliffe, North Street in Fritwell, A420 at Acorn Bridge, B4445 at the Thame to Sydenham turn, A4074 at the Sandford to Nuneham Courtenay stretch, Station Road in Brize Norton, Bloxham Road in Banbury and the A40 Northern Bypass in Oxford.
  • The B4027 Wheatley Road was closed yesterday due to flooding between Bridge Street in Islip and Bayswater Road, Beckley.
  • The Environment Agency was yesterday advising boaters not to navigate the River Thames at all due to the strong current.
  • Meanwhile, Linear Fisheries near Stanton Harcourt closed its complex at 1pm on Saturday. The company said: “Due to the risk associated with the floods, that many areas are currently experiencing, we have taken the precaution of closing the whole complex. Water levels are still rising and we expect this to continue for at least the next 48 hours as the flood water from the west reaches us. We will keep you informed as to when the complex is likely to re-open.”

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