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Blog: Oxfordshire flooding latest, Thursday, January 9
Updated 9:30am Friday 10th January 2014 in News
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- Botley Road and Abingdon Road are still shut tonight and floods there have worsened in places
- Flood waters will continue to rise in Oxford overnight with river levels rising tomorrow morning
- Homes have been evacuated around Botley Road and residents in Abingdon Road are being advised to prepare to leave their homes
- Bablock Hythe caravan park residents have also been rescued from their homes
Good morning. As with the past few days, we've started a new blog for Friday at http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/10928258.Blog__Oxfordshire_flooding_latest__Friday__January_10/?ref=var_6
A late-night update from First Great Western about its Oxford-Didcot shuttle train service for Friday:
"For start of service on Friday, January 10, we are having to further reduce our service between Oxford and Didcot Parkway."
- From Oxford to Didcot Parkway, trains will operate at 6.07am, 7.07am, 8.07am, 10.07am and then two-hourly throughout the day.
- From Didcot Parkway to Oxford, trains will operate at 6.57am, 08.57am, 10.57am, then two-hourly throughout the day.
The two-hourly shuttles will be formed of six coaches and will be supported by replacement buses, subject to road conditions.
FGW said an early-morning update will be posted at its website at 6.30am.
For more information on rail services in Oxfordshire on Friday, scroll down to our post at 10.29pm.
To check train times, see nationalrail.co.uk or call 08457 484950.
Tonight, residents in the Abingdon Road area of Oxford are those most at risk of more flooding. Botley Road is also still badly affected.
Both roads remain shut.
The official view is that floodwater in some areas will rise into tomorrow morning.
If you have any information, or would like to send in images or stories, e-mail email@example.com or tweet @TheOxfordMail
Using the step to my garden as a measurement device, flood levels on the Botley Road in Oxford seem to have stabilised. Finally.— @OUSU_CC 09 January 2014
But the force goes on to warn that the projections are that river levels in Oxford will reach their peak by Friday morning. Places downstream of the city will see the worst problems over the weekend.
The force said today: "The River Thames is a large, complex river and will continue rise slowly over several days. With dozens of smaller rivers feeding water into the Thames, it is difficult to predict exactly how water levels will respond as the recent rain moves downstream."
The Met Office is forecasting light showers and drier weather into the weekend. With no change in the weather forecast, the highest river levels are expected in the Oxford area by Friday morning. River levels downstream of Oxford will continue to rise as water passes through the catchment, with the highest levels expected to reach the lower Thames, around Teddington, over the coming weekend.
Howard Davidson, Environment Agency director, South East, said: “Whilst the risk of flooding remains across southern England, we’re paying close attention to the River Thames, particularly below Oxford, into Berkshire and through Surrey. River levels are high and will continue to rise for the next few days. It is likely that we will see further flooding to properties over the coming days.
“Environment Agency teams continue to work to work around the clock maintaining flood defences, clearing watercourses and deploying pumps and temporary defences to protect communities at risk."
Thames Valley Police has sent out a warning to motorists: "People are also urged to avoid driving or walking through flood water. Fast-flowing water that is just 15cm deep can be enough to knock an adult off their feet."
@TheOxfordMail @106jackfm Abingdon Road, 9th January 2014 @ 4:30pm http://t.co/WdLjFqjvL6— @uk_darla 09 January 2014
@TheOxfordMail the current flooding situation at The Kings Arms, Sandford-on-Thames. http://t.co/CFxDM46HRs— @joedavis_ 09 January 2014
One more flooding on a beautiful day picture. Barrier at Hinksey Lake this afternoon @oxfordmail http://t.co/16UFroLUHP— @pantswithnames 09 January 2014
While some areas ease off, others are getting worse.
Tweeter Chris Davison said tonight: "Water is rising up through floor boards in Norreys Avenue. Things still not getting better."
@TheOxfordMail #Oxford is even more a swan's paradise when it floods. http://t.co/B0bp029fIH— @siddodeva 09 January 2014
Are things very slightly improving tonight in the Abingdon Road area?
Steven Kennett, a resident on Chatham Road, says yes:
"I live in the middle of Chatham Road. Looking in the back garden at 22:20, the water level looks down about 1/2 an inch."
RT @producerpinnell: Oxford High Street, at around 18:13, no traffic at all tonight! @TheOxfordMail http://t.co/F46xZXyQJM— @TheOxfordMail 09 January 2014
Met Office "Yellow" warning for icy road conditions on Friday for Oxfordshire and South East. Take care on the roads http://t.co/Locwv2IvNe— @OxfordshireCC 09 January 2014
Interesting line from the Environment Agency's Twitter feed:
"Worryingly, 42 per cent of drivers would follow the vehicle in front through flood water. Steer clear and stay safe."
Reader Donna Dixon took this image today of Weirs Lane, off Abingdon Road in Oxford.
Another picture from today from tweeter @pantswithnames of Hinksey Park. More of a swimming pool at the moment.
@TheOxfordMail Abingdon Rd closed from Vicarage Rd. Never seen the water that high in 8 yrs here. Thoughts with Weirs Lane residents— @Morgane_Mahe 09 January 2014
Aston Rowant Church of England Primary School near Watlington is, however, due to reopen tomorrow. It had closed today because of electrical work in the area.
West Oxford Community Primary School is officially due to reopen tomorrow, according to the council information available. Anyone walking around that area this evening will know that there is serious flooding on the road around it, so this closure may remain in force tomorrow, too.
Grandpont Nursery School will not reopen until Monday, officials say.
Tonight, the Met Office is predicting further rainfall in the Oxford area on Friday evening and early Saturday morning. More rain is then expected on Sunday evening and again on Monday.
This is the wider regional view from the Environment Agency:
"Communities in the south of England should be prepared for further flooding this week from groundwater and rivers, as a result of recent heavy rainfall.
Further flooding is expected along the River Thames, as water levels continue to rise. Areas including Oxfordshire, Reading, Sonning, Maidenhead, Windsor, Datchet, Egham, Staines and Richmond could experience flooding over the coming days.
There is also an ongoing risk of flooding from rivers along the Hampshire Avon, the Stour in Dorset, the Parret in Somerset and the Severn in the Midlands. Due to high groundwater levels, areas such as Dorset, south Wiltshire, Hampshire and West Sussex could also experience further flooding.
Our teams continue to work around the clock monitoring water levels, checking and operating defences, working with partner organisations, issuing warnings and helping communities to prepare."
Botley Road has been soaked over the last 48 hours.
Is the end in sight? Maybe. The official line from the Environment Agency is as follows:
"The River Thames, Bulstake, Hinksey and Seacourt Streams remain very high. Levels are beginning to stabilise but we could still see a rise in some places. Flooding of properties closest to the river is still possible"
Witney's Windrush is falling, but properties are still vulnerable to flooding and further rainfall could worsen the situation.
The River Thame in Dorchester remains high but stable, according to the official latest assessment. The river remains sensitive to further rainfall and further property flooding may still occur.
The good news for the county is it is likely to be a dry night.
This is the outlook tonight for the Osney area of Oxford:
"The River Thames remains very high in the Binsey, Osney and Osney Island areas. Levels are expected to continue to rise very slowly over the next 12 hours but the rate of rise is now decreasing. Property flooding is still possible for these areas."
The Thames at Abingdon is also still rising, according to the Environment Agency.
Residents have had to be evacuated from properties in Bablockhythe. River levels in the area around it - Eynsham, Northmoor, Yarnton, Stanton Harcourt and Swinford - are however stabilising, but remain vulnerable to further rainfall.
Kennington's situation is similar to Culham's - the flood levels may still rise.
The message tonight is that some areas are easing off, but others are still at risk.
Elsewhere, the River Thames remains very high and is continuing to rise very slowly in the Culham and Sutton Courteney area.
First Great Western says that subject to conditions on the flooded section of the line at Redbridge, it will run a limited shuttle train service between Oxford and Didcot Parkway again tomorrow.
Only one train an hour will operate in each direction. Trains will leave Oxford at seven minutes past the hour and Didcot at 26 minutes past the hour. They will call at Radley but will not stop at Culham and Appleford, which will be linked by buses to Didcot Parkway.
Due to the limited capacity available on this shuttle, FGW is advising passengers travelling between London and Oxford and London and stations on the Cotswold Line to travel via Banbury instead, and use Chiltern Railways services to and from London Marylebone.
Passengers on the Cotswold Line are advised to check which trains are running before setting out to their station tomorrow. While most services are planned to run at their normal times between Oxford and Worcester, a number of trains between Hereford and London in the morning and in the reverse directon in the evening may be diverted to run via Swindon, causing some gaps in the timetable.
FGW stopping services between Oxford, Tackley, Heyford, Kings Sutton and Banbury will operate at normal times.
FGW says that it expects flooding-related disruption to continue until at least Saturday.
CrossCountry is planning to operate an hourly service between Oxford, Banbury and Birmingham tomorrow and until the flooding ends.
The firm is also operating a bus link between Banbury and Winchester to take passengers past the flooded secton of track.
Chiltern Railways will run a normal service between Oxford, Islip and Bicester Town and on its mainline services between London Marylebone, Haddenham & Thame Parkway, Bicester North, Banbury and Birmingham.
- During the disruption, passengers can use CrossCountry, Chiltern Railways, FGW, London Midland and Virgin Trains services on all reasonable routes to complete their journeys.
The Sandford and Radley areas could still rise tomorrow, too, the Environment Agency says.
The same cannot be said for areas around the River Thames at Clifton Hampden, Dorchester and Little Wittenham. The agency says:
"The River Thames remains very high and continuing to rise very slowly. Properties closest to the river at Clifton Hampden, Dorchester and Little Wittenham continue to be at risk of flooding. Levels are expected to start stabilising in the next 24 hours but remain sensitive to any further rainfall. The weather forecast is to expect a dry night tonight and a mostly dry day tomorrow."
Update for the Wolvercote area regarding floods. Environment Agency says:
"The River Thames remains high in the Wolvercote area but is now starting to fall very slowly. The levels remain sensitive to any further rainfall. Property flooding may still be possible. The weather forecast is to expect a dry night tonight and a mostly dry day tomorrow."
Train operator First Great Western has just announced that it is suspending its limited shuttle train service between Oxford and Didcot Parkway for the rest of this evening, due to conditions at Redbridge, where the tracks are under several inches of flood water.
Limited replacement buses will be in operation between Oxford and Didcot Parkway in both directions until midnight.
The Environment Agency has lifted flood alerts on the following rivers and brooks in Oxfordshire this evening:
- River Cherwell and its tributaries from Charwelton to just above Upper Heyford, including Cropredy, Marston St Lawrence, Banbury, and Kings Sutton.
- River Cole along the county boundary with Wiltshire to Buscot Wick, including Coleshill
- Clanfield Brook
- Langford and Wendlebury Brooks and their tributaries from Stratton Audley to the M40 near Merton, including Bicester and Wendlebury
- Shill Brook at Bampton
- Sor Brook and Bloxham Brook and their tributaries from Horley and Bloxham to Adderbury.
Contrary to earlier reports other residents are saying water levels in the Abingdon Rd area are actually dropping. Patrick Nolan of Fox Crescent said he has seen levels subsiding rather than rising.
Reports of gritters heading out on to Botley Road tonight as freezing temperatures are forecast.
The fire and rescue service say they have been at Weirs Lane this evening advising people what to do if they need to leave their homes.
They are due to leave the area soon and can't yet give details on how many people have left their homes.
Jayne Madden, 55, of Weirs Lane, Oxford, said: "We've just heard from the fire brigade that they're expecting a rise in 15cms tonight and they've told us to evacuate the house. My son is going to stay at his brother's house but my husband and I are going to weather it out.
"It's quite scary, it brings it home to you how serious it is. My mum who lives next door is adamant she isn't going to sleep on the floor of the Blackbird Leys leisure centre.
"A few neighbours have said they won't go anywhere so we'll keep an eye on them."
There are nine people at Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre tonight having left their homes in the Abingdon Road area
Residents in Weirs Lane, Oxford, say fire crews are advising them to leave their properties and go to Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre as flooding worsens.
Sarah Drew has contact us to say her sister Rachel has been an unsung heroine during the floods.
Rachel, 27, ignored her sister's claims she would be fine in the floods with Ugg boots and dropped off a brand new pair of wellies to Sarah's home in Helen Road, off Botley Road, yesterday.
Today the floods were on her drive and Sarah, 29, was truly thankful.
The researcher, who works at the Nuffield Hospital in Headington, said: "It hadn’t been that bad but the next day I woke up and it was a complete flood outside the door.
"It was a massive relief, I’m really grateful to have the wellies, otherwise my feet would have been very wet walking to work and I would have been very unhappy."
Rachel, who lives in Botley Road, also bought 27-year-old boyfriend James Ackroyd a pair to tackle the Botley Road floods.
Ann Clark has sent in pictures of some Oxford buildings at their best.
Above is the botanical gardens and below is Christ Church meadow.
Residents in Binsey are reporting being cut off in the village due to flooding
Traffic at Woodstock Road, at the junction with St Margaret's Road, Oxford
Tom Gibson sent in this picture of his wife Kat wife walking almost wellie boot deep in the floods on Botley Road tonight.
Claudia Hill sent in these images while out gliding around Bicester.
The glider pilot and member of the Oxford Gliding Club, based at RAF Weston-on-the-Green, said: "As Weston airfield is currently covered in large puddles I decided to fly from Bicester yesterday, home of Windrushers Gliding Club.
"The photos were actually taken by the instructor, Derren Francis, from the front seat, while I was sitting in the back."
1. Looking north. River Cherwell, and in the bottom right corner you can see part of Upper Heyford airfield.
2. Looking south. Junction 9 (M40/A34) in the foreground and Otmoor behind it.
3. Looking south. RAF Weston-on-the-Green in the centre, Junction 9 (M40/A34) and Otmoor behind it. Bicester to the left, river Cherwell and Oxford to the right.
The scene in Wytham earlier
Delays of around 30 minutes up to Woodstock Road, Oxford, from Leckford Road, reported. Drivers saying it's not as bad as yesterday but still causing delays.
Franceso took this picture of a stoic resident in the Lamarsh Road area of Oxford
Luke Scarsbrook has sent in these pictures of around Dorchester-on-Thames
RT @OxfordshireCC: Temps at/below freezing tonight. Gritters will be out. Water on roads combined with cold will lead to v tricky driving c…— @sammi1496 09 January 2014
Claire MacDonagh has sent in these pictures of Abingdon Road and Northampton Road. She says it has become a river between Hinksey Stream and the Thames.
Waste collection services will be disrupted tomorrow.
Oxford City Council won't be collecting from the following streets:
•Abingdon Road from the lights at Weirs Lane to Vicarage Road
•Ferry Hinksey Road
•Botley Road from Earl Street to Johnsons Volvo Garage.
Linda Wride took these pictures of Botley Road, between Helen Road and Binsey Lane, Oxford.
Sandbags are still available at Redbridge and Seacourt Park and Rides.
Oxford City Council has distributed 9,500 sandbags and is still issuing them on demand.
They have over 1,000 sandbags in stock as well as plenty of sand and bags.
Here's how to make your own:
There are also sandbags available at Duke of Monmouth public house on the Abingdon Road and PC World on Botley Road.
Around 20 residents have been evacuated from their homes at Bablock Hythe caravan park in Witney.
Firefighters have been at the caravan park today to rescue some of the people livign there and liaise with Thames Water staff around the flooded site so they could deal with a sewer pump issue.
Station Manager Simon Belcher, the fire officer in charge of operations today, said: "We used a specialist rescue boat to help some people from their homes and have remained onsite today to offer reassurance to remaining residents.
"Firefighters have worked extremely hard to help a community which has been significantly affected by the floods.
"We were very well prepared and we have been able to deal with the problems in a very effective manner..
Councillor Rodney Rose, Oxfordshire County Council's Deputy leader who has Cabinet responsibility for flooding, visited the site today, and said: "I would like to thank all county council staff and those from partner agencies for all the hard work they have done to assist communities who have been affected by the floods."
West Oxfordshire District Council helped to re-house those people evacuated from the park.
Advice being given to residents in the Abingdon Road area:
• Move valuables off the ground floor and think about what to do with your car - bear in mind that emergency services may need access .
• Contact friends or family now to make arrangements in case you need to leave your home for at least a few days.
• Pack the things you will need for a few days away – don’t forget medicines and other essentials.
• Check with your insurer whether the cost of temporary accommodation will be covered - if not, then there is a reception centre at Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre, where officers will assist you - transport will be provided for those who need it - Please call 01865 249811 to make us aware if you need help with this.
• If you can, protect doorways and put down toilet bungs for ground floor lavatories.
• If you leave switch off your electricity and gas.
• Keep yourself up-to-date with the latest information on the radio and county and city council websites.
• It is difficult to predict if and when flooding to homes may occur. However now is the time for residents to make plans and preparations to be ready to leave their homes if necessary.
Residents around Abingdon Road were warned this evening their homes could flood within the next 24 hours.
Letters were sent to residents in Weirs Lane, Fox Crescent, Canning Crescent, Peel Place, and Chatham Road.
The letters, by Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council, said the Environment Agency is worried water levels will rise over the next 24 hours and start to flood their homes, despite flood defences in place.
Train disruptions across Oxfordshire on some services are expected to last until at least Saturday.
Network Rail is warning flooding at Radley is still causing delays and cancellations between Didcot Parkway and Oxford.
An update from First Great Western at 5pm said problems between Worcester, Oxford and Didcot Parkway are still affected by flooding.
Trains which had been running between Oxford and Didcot Parkway won’t stop at Culham or Appleford until after 8pm.
First Great Western said: "The shuttle service between Oxford and Didcot Parkway and vice versa will no longer be able to call at Appleford or Culham on all services until after 8pm.
"Limited replacement road transport will convey customers between these Stations and Didcot Parkway during this period of time."
They added that a replacement service by road cannot be offered because of flooding on the main roads in and out of Oxford.
Oxford City Council say most of their football pitches have been declared fit to play on this weekend.
Only the facilities at Grandpont and Hinksey have been ruled out of action.
Ed Bonn, from the pitches booking team, confirmed: “They are the only two locations affected, though we will be carrying out a pitch inspection at Northway today.”
OXFORDSHIRE county council is calling for commuters to plan their journeys amid traffic problems caused by flooding.
Council spokesman Sam Henry said no severe traffic problems have been reported so far.
He added: “But come five o’clock that is when people will be leaving work so we are warning them to expect delays and asking them to plan their journeys which will probably take longer than usual.”
Residents reported journeys from Oxford Station to Summertown taking two hours on yesterday<<JAN8>> because of gridlocked traffic on Banbury Road and Woodstock Road.
The people of Binsey say they are all but cut off tonight as a result of the flood water.
This panaromic scene was taken by reporter Katriona Ormiston today on Botley Road.
Hazardous driving conditions are being reported in Abingdon due to surface water.
The water is affecting the A415 eastbound between Bridge Street and Tollgate Road.
Traffic in Woodstock Road, Oxford, is reportedly building up
Hazardous driving conditions are being reported in Abingdon due to surface water.
The water is affecting the A415 eastbound between Bridge Street and Tollgate Road.
View from the eighth floor of the engineering science building, Port Meadow resembling a large lake
The flood water level in Witney has dropped today according to residents.
West Oxfordshire District councillor Andrew Coles said: “The situation in Witney remains threatening, but thankfully the River Windrush dropped today in Bridge Street.”
Riverside Gardens resident and grandfather-of-five Keith Webb , 70, said his home was threatened by the water but added: “It has changed for the better. The river has gone down, but it was very touch and go.
“Personally I feel we have got over the worst.”
Tonight, the situation on the roads remains the same as on Wednesday and motorists are likely to face similar delays.
Yesterday, journeys from St Giles up Banbury Road and Woodstock Road out of the city were taking well over an hour, with some commuters reporting it was taking two hours to travel home across the city.
BUS users could tonight face delays of at least 30 minutes.
Botley Road and Abingdon Road out of the city remain closed because of flooding, leaving the other main routes, including Woodstock Road and London Road, congested.
Oxford Bus Company warned residents could face delays up to 30 minutes or more.
Oxford Bus Company spokesman Phil Ashworth said: “With Botley Road and Abingdon Road closed there are delays through the city of Oxford because of traffic congestion.
“We have all available drivers and buses out on the roads. All we can do is the best we can to keep services moving and wait for river levels to drop and for roads to be reopened.
“You can’t have two main roads closed into the city and there not be any delays.”
He added the worst affected services were the U1 to Harcourt Hill, the city4 services, the X3 to Abingdon, and the 300 to Redbridge Park and Ride.
A number of homes are without power in Binsey Lane, Oxford, one the whole of the left side of the street.
Station manager at Kidlington Julian Green said: 'We were called to Binsey Lane because the power has gone down because of the floods. I think the whole side of the street has lost power.
"Water has got into the electrics and so we are carrying out a life safety assessment to see how we can assist residents and in terms of any need to be evacuated to the County Council emergency centres or other accommodation.
"Our main priority is the safety of the residents but we are also trying to pump away as much of the water as we can, but it keeps coming back in again.
'We are also helping residents move their items up to a higher level.
"Some residents have made their way to alternative accommodation."
Osney Court evacuees Alan and Denise Coleman say they are likely not to return to their home until Tuesday.
The couple moved out of their home last night and were moved to Birch Court in Headington before going to the Premier Inn in Oxford today.
Grandfather-of-three Mr Coleman, 62, said their housing association Home Group had organised the hotel for them and said: “They will let us know when it is safe to go back.
“The Home Group has been tremendous, they have been fantastic.”
He added: “I think we will be out until next Tuesday. There is not much you can do about it.”
Staff from Ability Matters in Abingdon Road have been paddling through the floods to make sure customers' messages and enquiries are answered. They even managed to carry stock out to make a delivery as this picture of Andrew Davis.
Cyclists braving the flooding in Binsey Lane, Oxford
Abandoned bikes in Osney Court, Oxford
12:36pm Thu 9 Jan 14
Edward Catflap says
Water levels appear to have dropped slightly along Botley Road and Lamarsh Road.
An amended service is in place between Didcot Parkway and Oxford because of flooding at #Radley. Details here - http://t.co/WJGXx8Uyiu— @NRE_FirstGW 09 January 2014
First Great Western has just tweeted to say an hourly shuttle train is now running between Didcot Parkway and Oxford.
Due to very limited capacity, passengers travelling between Oxford and London are being advised to go via Banbury, using Chiltern Railways services to and from London Marylebone.
Vicarage Road, Oxford demountable Defences in operation holding back the water. http://t.co/qy9BDAooqc— @EnvAgencySE 09 January 2014
Mel Holloway Osman sent in these pictures of flooding in and around the Abingdon Road area including one of a barefoot man carrying a suitcase!
Gavin Robinson sent in this image of an ingenious ways of (trying to) keeping dry in Botley Road, Oxford
Sandbags are still available at the Seacourt Park & Ride, the council has confirmed
Water being pumped out of houses in South Street going above this child's head!
Oxford Mail reporter @ollieoxmail tweeted this photo of the Botley Road at its junction with Ferry Hinksey Road.
Oxford City Council has named Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre as a rest centre for people evacuated from their homes due to flooding.
It has said in the current flood conditions it is likely that residents will be arriving at the centre which may result in some classes and activities being cancelled.
Leisure centre customers are advised to call reception on 01865 467020 to confirm the exact situation before coming to the centre.
More than 5,500 sandbags have now been distributed by the county council in Oxfordshire.— @OxfordshireCC 09 January 2014
The view of Botley Road from the Seacourt tower
Bin collections will not take place tomorrow in Oxford in the following areas:
Abingdon Road area
Abingdon Road from the lights Weirs lane to Vicarage Road
Ferry Hinksey Road
Botley Road from Earl Street to Johnsons Volvo Garage.
Anyone for bowls? Mark Gower sent in this picture of West Oxford Bowls club under three foot of water taken on a boat trip around Botley Park.
Michael Buckingham from Cowley, Oxford, has sent in this image of Christ Church Meadow
Another picture of our dedicated posties battling through the floods, this one in Oswestry Road, Oxford.
This is Mike Nottage who said: "I've been a postman for 25 years and have never seen it this bad. There aren't many posties in the area working today and we had the choice. I wanted to do it."
It's not just us humans being affected by the flooding as these images from Francesca Halstead in Peel Place off Abingdon Road show.
She said: "Out for a wade today it truly is a beautiful disaster. A small deer crossed the road as we walked towards town. Hopefully the water has peaked now else we are worried it will come through our floorboards!"
Arthur Lovell sent in these pictures of the flooded railway line and Abingdon Road/Weirs Lane junction this morning at around 7:15am.
Thames Valley Police has sent out details about the latest warning from the Environment Agency:
- Avoid walking or driving through flood water.
- Be aware that flooding can cause manhole covers to come off.
- Keep children and vulnerable people out of flood water.
- Don’t walk on sea defences or riverbanks.
- Take care or avoid crossing bridges when water levels are high.
- Take care crossing culverts as they are dangerous when flooded.
- Look out for other hazards such as fallen power lines and trees.
- Wash your hands thoroughly if you touch flood water, as it may be contaminated.
Roy Long, 45, from Wantage took this video of the train from Didcot Parkway to Oxford battling through the flooded line at Radley, on his way in this morning
The Environment Agency has just warned county residents of further flooding this week.
A spokesman said: "The Met Office is forecasting light showers and drier weather into the weekend.
"With no change in the weather forecast the highest river levels are expected in the Oxford area over the next 24 hours (by Friday morning).
"River levels downstream of Oxford will continue to rise as water passes through the catchment, with the highest levels expected to reach the lower Thames, around Teddington, over the coming weekend.”
They added: "The River Thames is a large, complex river and will continue to rise slowly over several days. With dozens of smaller rivers feeding water into the Thames, it is difficult to predict exactly how water levels will respond as the recent rain moves downstream."
We've had lots of incredible stories of people going the extra mile to help others out during the flooding.
One of them is a man who was in Botley Road, Oxford, last night, offering a spare pair of wellies to those walking through the floodwater. Who is this unsung hero? Were you helped by him? We'd love to track him down.
And any other unsung heroes or heroines you've seen out and about across Oxfordshire during the floods, let us know, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our phones at the Oxford Mail office are out of action due to the flooding but you can contact us on the email addresses below:
@TheOxfordMail Plenty still braving the floods this morning for a cycle / run along the Botley Road. http://t.co/P2teJ4UscL— @hellodavsk 09 January 2014
Thames Water said it got a “staggering” call to 700 jobs on Monday and at its peak was completing one job a minute.
A spokesman said its customer contact centre got more than four times its usual numbers of calls than normal about its waste network.
It said it had drafted in extra teams who were “working round the clock” and some had cancelled leave and water is going into sewers designed to take only wastewater from homes and businesses, not rivers too. A spokesman said the water company's network was under "enormous pressure."
More than 2,700 sandbags have been distributed across the Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire.
And they are available from:
- Abingdon – Cattle Market car park, next to the council offices at Abbey House
- Abingdon – B&Q, Fairacres retail park
- Crowmarsh – from the South Oxfordshire District Council office car park, Benson Lane
- Henley – from Kings Road car park
- Shiplake - railway station car park
RT @SouthOxon: Flooding - important information and advice for those living and working by the Thames http://t.co/l4kqMa1iLO— @TempestJT 08 January 2014
Posties are braving the floods as this picture tweeted by Saskya Huggins shows.
@beckstar2 @OxfordshireCC @TheOxfordMail I can assure you I'm working hard to try and get the best solution for Oxfordshire— @ianhudspeth 09 January 2014
Passengers wanting to travel by rail between Oxford and Didcot will have to go on the bus.
The Didcot to Oxford shuttle train service has been suspended due to water on the tracks at Redbridge getting too deep for trains to operate safely.
Passengers travelling between Oxford and London should travel via Banbury and connect there with Chiltern Railways services to and from London Marylebone
First Great Western says it is expecting disruption to its services in the Oxford area to continue until at least Saturday.
Water levels along the Evenlode Valley have fallen overnight, all the way from Moreton-in-Marsh to Cassington.
Steve Baines sent in this snap of the water levels at Redbridge while on the train in from Radley this morning.
Lines between Didcot and Oxford are suspended as it is all flooded. Looking to get replacements asap. More updated to follow.— @FGW 09 January 2014
Staff at Martin & Co, the city-centre based letting agents, have sent us pictures of their journey to work in Abingdon.
Owner Claire Urwin, who lives in Kennington, said: "I tried my push bike yesterday but that was a disaster when I lost a tyre, so today, with colleague Lyndi, we braved it on foot. We have landlords who expect us to look after their properties so we have little option.
"It took us over an hour, but we checked some of our properties on the way.
"The blisters are a bit painful though."
People in Botley Road using a novel way to stay dry - with bin bags over their legs
The River Thames at Swinford toll bridge
RT @OxfordshireCC: sandbags given out by councils are free. if you are offered some for sale, please report it to the police.— @FlossyMcQ 09 January 2014
Osney Mead in Oxford this morning
The Hinksey Park are is awash with flooding today, as these pictures make clear.
A brave cyclist battles through the flood waters off Botley Road, Oxford
The flooding on Ferry Hinksey Road is unlikely to ease any time soon. This is what it looks like this morning.
The reports are that one of the two pumps at the mini-roundabout there is going to be moved to reduce the flooding around the homes between the school and the Botley Road junction.
Footage showing city council workers draining flood water from properties in Bullstake Close, Oxford
Buses between Blackbird Leys and the rail station are severely delayed.
One commuter said: "Been waiting for a bus at The Regal since 9am, just got to train station ten minutes ago on the number 5 (probably should have walked!)".
RT @FGW: All services between Oxford and Paddington have been cancelled today. Passengers will need to change at Didcot for onward travel #…— @INRIXChris 09 January 2014
Leslie has been in touch to say Banbury Road is running smoothly this morning towards the city from Summertown.
She said: "It only took 1 hour from Botley to City Centre this morning, down from 2 hours yesterday. The bus drivers have all been great, really helpful, and drivers are respecting bus lanes and being pretty considerate.
"I’ve got my fingers crossed for no more rain!"
The scene in Varsity Place, Oxford, this morning, readers reporting it's almost as bad as Osney Court area.
Another reader has been in touch about flooding around the Chatham Road/Fox Crescent area off Abingdon Road, Oxford. Howard Riley sent this picture in and said: "Water now just a few cm from coming into our house on Chatham Road, off Abingdon Road.
"Both ends of the road completely flooded, cannot walk through. Council have still not provided any sandbags - no chance of getting to the park and ride! We need sandbags urgently."
Mark Bentley has sent in this picture of the Maybush and Rose Revived area in Newbridge, Witney
Osney Lock 2003 flood mark
Osney Court this morning.
The A40 is seriously clogged up, too.
One bus passenger said it took her around 40 minutes to get in to the city centre this morning. Those are the sorts of delays bus users are facing.
The A44 is clogged up this morning. Yesterday it was described by TomTom as having the worst traffic problems in the country.
No way through on Botley Road today.
Another image of Botley Road this morning.
This is the scene on Botley Road this morning, where commuters are again walking in the middle of the - car-free - road.
The pump is taking water away from the Bullstake Close area.
There are again serious delays for people travelling into Oxford today. Yesterday evening, it was taking commuters up to two hours to get from St Giles up Banbury Road or Woodstock Road. Today, the traffic is building up again - although the other way, of course. How long is it taking you to get in? Let us know at @TheOxfordMail or e-mail email@example.com
We've had reports that Vicarage Road off Abingdon Road in Oxford is closed because of flood water and that access is via Lake Street.
The Mail is being told that this is to prevent bow-waves taking standing water straight into people's homes.
"People need to understand that roads are closed for a reason," said a source.
The flooding is not too bad out in Carterton, county councillor Peter Handley told the Mail this morning. "If we can escape any more rain, it could get better," he said. Monahan Way had been suffering with flooding last night, he said.
Drayton Road in Sutton Courtenay is closed due to flooding.
Stagecoach is advising passengers to expect delays on all its bus services operating in Oxford today as a result of the closures of Abingdon Road and Botley Road by flooding.
The following diversions apply:
Route 2/2A: Due to a sewer collapse in Evans Lane, Kidlington, buses cannot serve Evans Lane and Mill Street. Route 2A is diverting via Oxford Road and Banbury Road. Route 2 is running from Grovelands via Banbury Road, The Moors, High Street and Oxford Road.
Route 3: Is terminating in the city centre and will not serve the railway station.
Routes 11, 66, S1 and X30: Due to the closure of Botley Road buses these are diverted between Botley and the city centre via the A34 and Woodstock Road, with extended journey times.
Route 16/16A: Runing via Iffley Road due to the flooding in Abingdon Road and at Donnington Bridge.
Route 18: Cannot serve Bablockhythe and Northmoor due to flooding and will run on the main road between Standlake and Stanton Harcourt.
Routes 31 and 34: Diverted via Iffley Road.
Route S3: All services will run to/from Gloucester Green and will not serve the railway station.
Thames Travel is warning passengers travelling in and out of Oxford on its buses to expect long delays again as a result of road closures and diversions caused by flooding.
Buses canot serve Sutton Courtenay at present due to flooded roads.
West Oxford Community Primary School has again closed today, officials have confirmed.
This is what one stretch of Botley Road looks like this morning.
Probably because of the closure of Botley Road, there is almost no traffic at all this morning on Cumnor Hill.
Tweeter Donna Dixon has been in touch to say Fox Crescent and Chatham Road - off Abingdon Road - are now flooded this morning. She says the water is flowing around the side of her house.
@TheOxfordMail Traffic already busier than usual in Kidlington: looks like pple going to Botley Rd diverting to Banbury Rd instead— @ctyerkes 09 January 2014
@TheOxfordMail left Chipping Norton at 5 in London Victoria at 715 via Oxford Tube which was almost empty .....— @RachelNiblock 09 January 2014
This image, taken before 6am today on Ferry Hinksey Road near the primary school, gives a sense of the scale of flooding there today.
Reader Dennis Jackson says the river levels are rising in Abingdon - something the Environment Agency has confirmed.
He took this shot at 1.47am at the junction of Preston Road and Wilsham Road in Abingdon.
Stagecoach says there is still a diversion in place on its Service 66 in the city.
Service 66 is currently diverting via A34 and A4144 (Woodstock Road) into Gloucester Green Bus Station.
The company says: "All bus stops along Botley Road will not be served. Please expect long delays on this service."
The Oxford Bus Company says the closure of Botley Road and Abingdon Road means lengthy diversions are in place. These are the details:
- City4 and Brookes Bus U1 services normally using the Botley Road, and will divert via George St, Woodstock Road, and the A34 to Botley before resuming their normal route. Services coming into Oxford will use the same route in reverse.
- cityX3/X13: diverting from Abingdon to Redbridge, Heyford Hill, Littlemore roundabout, Iffley Road, High Street to the city centre. Leaving Oxford, services will operate the same diversion in reverse.
- city35: not serving Lower Kennington. Services are operating from Kennington along Bagley Wood Road, then Hinksey Hill, Heyford Hill, Littlemore roundabout, Iffley Road, High Street to the city centre. Leaving Oxford, services will operate up to the same diversion in reverse. Redbridge is not being served by city35 in either direction.
- park&ride300: from Redbridge to Heyford Hill, Littlemore roundabout, Iffley Road to the city centre. The reverse will apply for services operating from Oxford to Redbridge.
- park&ride400: due to the closure of Seacourt park and ride, park&ride400 will not serve Seacourt. Services from Thornhill will terminate at the rail station.
- city2: As a result of continuing floods and roadworks along Evans Lane, service 2A will operate via Oxford Road direct to Grovelands. Service 2 will operate via the Moors, High Street and then Oxford Road en route to Oxford city.
- city3/5: As a result of delays to all services the city3 and city5 will terminate in the city centre and not serve the Rail Station. For travel onward to the Rail Station, please board a park&ride400 at the High Street or Speedwell Street that will carry you free of charge to the Rail Station. From the Rail Station the park&ride400 bus will park at the city5 stop and carry you to Speedwell Street or High Street to return toward Iffley Rd or Rose Hill.
- Due to the considerable increased distance these diversions cover, services will be heavily delayed.
- All other services are operating normal route but due to localised flooding and displaced traffic, delays are expected.
Residents on Bulstake Close, Duke Street, Earl Street and Osney Court - all streets near PC World on Botley Road - were warned yesterday to leave their homes, with flood water likely to breach defences in some homes. The Mail will be down there this morning to give you the latest.
In the Abingdon area, the River Thames remains very high and continues to rise. Properties close to the river remain at risk of flooding, the Environment Agency says.
In Witney, the Windrush is still high, furiously churning its way through the town at similar levels to those seen earlier this week.
But the Environment Agency says levels on the Windrush in the area of the town are now starting to fall.
"The river will remain sensitive to further rainfall over the rest of the week and further property flooding is possible," the agency says.
The latest official line from the Environment Agency is that floodwaters in Oxford are expected to keep rising today.
On the River Thames and tributaries at New Botley, New and North Hinksey and Grandpont in Oxford, the official line as of last night is that river levels on the River Thames, Bulstake, and Seacourt Streams remain very high and the River Thames is expected to rise slowly today. Flooding of those properties closest to the river is still possible.
On the River Thames and tributaries in the Binsey, Osney and Osney Island areas in Oxford, again water is expected to rise today.
River levels on the Thames in the Wolvercote area were last night said to be stabilising.
There have been several First Great Western train cancellations out of Oxford so far today.
The 5.12am London Paddington to Oxford, the 5.43am Oxford to London Paddington, the 5:59am Oxford to London Paddington and the 6.04am Oxford to London Paddington were all cancelled because of the floods.
Two more journeys due to set off in the next hour have also been cancelled:
- the 7.12am Charlbury to London Paddington, due at 8:31am
- the 7:21am London Paddington to Oxford, due 8.19am
Train operator First Great Western will continue to operate special timetables today in Oxfordshire due to flooding of the tracks at Redbridge limiting the number of trains able to run between Oxford and Didcot Parkway.
The pattern of services will be as follows:
Oxford-Didcot Parkway: a half-hourly shuttle service will operate every 30 minutes from 5.37am between Oxford and Didcot Parkway in both directions, with trains calling at Radley, Culham and Appleford in both directions. Connections can be made at Didcot for Reading, London, the West of England and South Wales
Oxford-Worcester Shrub Hill via the Cotswold Line: FGW is attempting to run a near-normal timetable at stations between Oxford and Worcester but diversions of some Worcester to London services via Swindon mean there are a number of cancellations affecting services at West Oxfordshire stations. Check what trains are running before travelling at National Rail's live departure boards.
Oxford-Banbury: Services will run to a modified timetable. FGW stopping services calling at Tackley, Heyford and Kings Sutton will run at normal times, but CrossCountry will only run an hourly service between Oxford, Banbury and the West Midlands. It has suspended services between Oxford and Reading for the time being.
London Midland, Cross Country and Arriva trains are accepting First Great Western tickets on reasonable routes during the disruption.
FGW is advising passengers from Oxford and Cotswold Line stations to travel to and from London via Banbury, changing there for Chiltern Railways trains to and from London Marylebone due to limited capacity on the Oxford-Didcot shuttles.
Chiltern Railways will run normal services between Oxford, Islip and Bicester Town and on its mainline services between London, Haddenham & Thame Parkway, Bicester North, Banbury and Birmingham.
For timetable information, see nationalrail.co.uk or call 08457 484950.
For updates on FGW services, see the firm's JourneyCheck page.
These are the flood warnings in place in Oxfordshire today. There are 16 currently in place. The most recently updated ones are at the top of this list.
- River Thames in the Playhatch, Sonning and Sonning Eye area of South Oxfordshire
- River Thames and tributaries at Wolvercote in Oxford
- River Thames at Clifton Hampden, Dorchester and Little Wittenham
- River Thames and tributaries at Sandford and Radley near Oxford
- River Thames at Goring and Streatley
- River Thames at Culham
- River Thames and tributaries at Kennington
- River Thames between Newbridge and Kings Lock above Oxford
- River Thames in Abingdon
- River Thames and tributaries in the Binsey, Osney and Osney Island areas in Oxford
- River Thame at Dorchester
- River Windrush at Witney and Ducklington
- River Thames from Buscot Wick down to Shifford
- River Thames and tributaries at New Botley, New and North Hinksey and Grandpont in Oxford
- River Thames for Henley, Remenham, and Medmenham
- River Thames for Shiplake, Lower Shiplake and Wargrave
Numerous flood warnings in the county remain in place - meaning people should expect flooding.
The latest Met Office forecast is for more rain until 9am in the Oxford area. The rest of the day is expected to be clear.
There are no reported school closures at the moment. West Oxford Community Primary School, shut yesterday, looks likely to be forced to close again.
Flood signs are also in place at:
- Main Street - Clanfield
- Bloxham Rd – Banbury
- B4035 - Broughton Lane
- A361 at Fulbrook
- Merton to Islip road at Charlton-on-Otmoor
This is a list of current road closures, according to Oxfordshire County Council.
- The Botley Road in Oxford from the railway bridge by the train station to the road's junction with the A420 A34 slip road by McDonald's
- The Abingdon Road in Oxford from its junction with old Abingdon Road through to its junction with Northampton Road.
- Islip - Lower Road and Mill Road closed because of flooding. The route through the village is now via Kings Head Lane, which is under traffic signal control
London Lane, Ascott-under-Wychwood due to flooding
- Barford Road between Barford St John and Barford St Michael closed due to flooding
- B478 at Playhatch
- The road to Woodeaton Village from B4027 to Elsfield/ Marston Junction
- Clifton Hampden to Long Wittenham (High Street)
Wytham to Wolvercote road (under the A34 bridge)
- Kennington Road, Kennington by A34 slip road.
- Ferry Hinksey Road, Oxford
- Link road from A34 to South Hinksey village
- Binsey Lane, Oxford
- Tollgate Road at Culham Bridge
- West Hagbourne Village – York Road to Main Street
- North Moreton to Wallingford road
- B4016 Blewbury Road, East Hagbourne
- Minster Riding near the Old Swan Hotel near Minster Lovell
- Dry Lane, Crawley
- A417 both ways closed due to accident and fallen power cables near B4001 New Road
- Hithercroft Road from roundabout at Bosley Way near Wallingford to Anchor Lane at South Moreton
The county council is saying the restrictions on the high street during working hours will be lifted again.
Ferry Hinksey Road, which runs through to Osney Mead industrial estate and passes West Oxford Community Primary School, is severely flooded today. Waters that had drained back have again spread - both down Osney Mead and up Ferry Hinksey Road. The water is deep in places, as it is elsewhere on Botley Road. The message is not to drive through the floodwater, although this morning several vehicles are travelling past restrictions nonetheless.
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