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River levels rising as more rain sweeps in
RAINFALL across Oxfordshire is not likely to cause floods like those seen last month, but the county is not out of the woods yet.
That was the message from the Met Office and Environment Agency yesterday as the county was hit by heavy downpours.
Parts of Oxfordshire have seen as much as 28mm (one inch) of rainfall in the past couple of days.
Met Office spokesman Dan Williams said another 20 to 30mm of rain was set to fall from today over the county in the period up until Christmas Eve.
He said: “There’s more to come but it’s not as bad as last month at the moment. Some areas of Oxfordshire are going to see some high rainfall.
“The rain is not particularly heavy but it’s persistent. And it’s falling on a ground already saturated. We haven’t had much in the way of a dry spell and it does all add up and could cause some problems.”
But river levels are thought to be levelling and have not reached the heights seen last month.
Environment Agency spokesman Amber Joseph said: “In Oxfordshire the situation is currently stable. Based on the total rainfall predicted for the next few days, we expect the impact to be lower than in November.
“The tributaries have been responding so the river levels have been rising, but they are handling the rainfall and are now levelling.”
She said it was too early to tell what the rain and flood situation will be like over the Christmas period but the Environment Agency would be monitoring the situation round the clock.
A West Oxford resident whose home has been flooded three times in the past 10 years said he was not worried.
Andy Webber, a flood street warden for Earl Street, said: “I’m not worried because of the great job the council workers and Environment Agency staff did for us a month ago. They will be there straight away, even though it’s Christmas. I hope we won’t see them out on the street this weekend though.”
Yesterday’s rainfall caused disruption on roads around Oxfordshire.
Subsidence around a culvert under the road damaged the surface of Oxford Road at Hinksey Hill, just south of the Westwood Hotel. Temporary traffic lights were installed due to the closure of one side of the road.
In Long Hanborough floodwater from overnight rain partially blocked Lower Road near the junction with the A4095.
Near Hailey, flooding also shut the B4022 Witney to Charlbury road at the Bird in Hand pub.
The Highways Agency issued a warning to drivers to take care and drive more slowly in wet weather due to surface water on roads.
There were no flood warnings in the county last night but there 15 flood alerts were in force.
- For the most up-to-date flood warnings, visit the Environment Agency's website here.