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FLOODING: Sandbags at the ready as residents hold their breath
Mail reader Karl Mitchell-Shead took this dramatic picture of Wallingford Bridge using a camera on a radio-controlled hexacopter
WHILE Oxford businesses and homes are battered by flooding, many residents elsewhere in the county are holding their breath as waters approach.
The above picture was taken of the swollen River Thames between Wallingford and Crowmarsh Gifford from a radio-controlled hexacopter.
Karl Mitchell-Shead, 25, who is the display coordinator at Spyrotechnics in Wallingford, which is behind the town’s annual fireworks display, took the image with his machine flying at 200ft.
Mr Mitchell-Shead, who lives in Radnor Road, Wallingford, said: “Essentially it’s a boys’ toy. I was really impressed with how the image came out and can’t wait to get out up over Culham and Abingdon at the weekend.”
Mayor of Wallingford Bernard Stone said the town was standing up well.
He said: “When Wallingford was built 1,000 years ago it was very well situated.
“The town is just elevated from the Thames and you have water meadows that take the water.”
However, residents in Fir Tree Avenue, near the river, had water in their back gardens about 18 inches from their back doors, he said.
“One couple have lived in their house for 48 years and they say it is the highest the water has ever been in their garden.”
Hithercroft Road to Anchor Lane at South Moreton and the North Moreton to Wallingford road was closed last night as the Oxford Mail went to press.
South Oxfordshire District Council is providing sandbags at its office car park in Benson Lane, Crowmarsh, and Vale of White Horse District Council is offering them from Abingdon’s Cattle Market car park and the B&Q store in Nuffield Way.
Both councils are delivering bags to high-risk properties and vulnerable residents.
West Oxfordshire District Council is offering to deliver sandbags to elderly or disabled on 01993 861000 or 0845 3039706.
Meanwhile, the Vale council’s Rye Farm car park, off Bridge Street, Abingdon, is flooded and drivers were urged to avoid Hales Meadow.
The Environment Agency said it was not pumping any water away outside Oxford but flood warnings remain in place for Clifton Hampden, Dorchester and Little Wittenham and Culham.
Pat Dingle, 69, who lives in Bridge Street, Witney, said: “If you look down Bridge Street, everybody has sandbags down the front of their homes.” Ms Dingle – who had to leave her home for a year after the 2007 floods – said water was in her garden, adding that she was taking a philosophical view – “what will be will be.”
But Gary Soame, a director at Witney Warehouse furniture retailer at West End Industrial Estate, has a more uncertain future after about eight inches got into his premises.
Facing a further closure – it shut for four months after the November 2012 floods – he said: “We are looking for other premises. If we are going to continue. We are going to have to move away because the source of the problem isn’t being tackled.
“In three or four weeks it could happen again.”
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