Fears mount as flood waters move downstream

Lower Radley, near Abingdon, is among areas braced for flooding

Lower Radley, near Abingdon, is among areas braced for flooding

First published in News Herald Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Didcot and Wallingford. Call me on 01865 425425

AS Oxford residents watched flood waters recede yesterday, people in South Oxfordshire were warned to be ready to take action, with river levels on the rise.

People living in Lower Radley, Clifton Hampden and Dorchester are surrounded by water from the Thames and are concerned their homes could still be hit by flooding.

The Environment Agency said yesterday that with dozens of smaller rivers and tributaries feeding water into the River Thames, levels downstream of Abingdon will continue to rise over the next two to three days.

Among the flood warnings remaining in place were the River Thames and tributaries at Sandford and Radley, the Thames at Abingdon, the Thames at Clifton Hampden, Dorchester and Little Wittenham, the Thames at Culham, and the Thames from Days Lock down to South Stoke, including Dorchester, Shillingford, Benson, Wallingford and Moulsford.

Retired physicist Martin Wilson, 74, said part of Lower Radley where he lives was closed to traffic. He added: “It hasn’t been this bad since 2007 – people are starting to get worried about their homes being flooded.”

In Clifton Hampden, residents cannot get through to Long Wittenham as the road approaching the bridge at Clifton Hampden is flooded, and as a result the road at the crossroads on the A415 has been closed to traffic.

Pauline Neill, who runs Clifton Hampden post office and store, said: “It’s very inconvenient for people in Long Wittenham. They have been wading through with a little boat to pick up prescriptions from the surgery here.”

In Dorchester, people living in Bridge End have been watching nervously as water from the River Thame washes around their gardens.

Father John Osman, of the Catholic Church of St Birinus, said the water had flooded into the garden of the presbytery where he lives.

He added: “My father Stanley Osman, who is 100, lives in a cottage in the garden, and he has been flooded out.

“I have lived here for 30 years and it’s the worst I have ever seen.

“There is nowhere for the water to go and the ditches needed to be cleared.”

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