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Saturated ground and more rain brings new flood fears
OXFORDSHIRE is bracing itself for more flooding, as the Environment Agency warns that the threat from ground water could continue for weeks.
With about 20mm of rain forecast for today, people are again being warned to stay vigilant and make preparations for possible flooding.
Across the county, reports of flooded fields and allotments have raised fears of groundwater flowing into more populated areas in the coming days, as it drains away.
Not everyone is hating the floods, as Tessa Hennessy and her family go canoeing into Oxford along the Marston cycle path
One flood warning remains in force for the River Thames and its tributaries at Botley, North and South Hinksey, and West and South Oxford, meaning that the Environment Agency expects homes to flood.
There are also 13 flood alerts still in force and the Met Office has issued an amber warning for rain this afternoon, tomorrow and Saturday.
Jayne Madden, 55, of Weirs Lane, South Oxford, said: “We have had water in our garden since Saturday and the banks have not even broken, so God knows what is going to happen. The banks broke last time. We’ll be back to square one in a couple of days time.”
Residents and businesses on Abingdon Road and Botley Road are still waiting to see what will happen next.
Michelle Smith, 42, a grandmother-of-five, of Peel Place, South Oxford, said: “The water has just started to come up in the garden. We just have to wait and see.
“It depends on the amount of rain we get.”
John Brooks, managing director of Isis Creative Framing in Northampton Road off Abingdon Road, said: “We can see the fields flooding. If it keeps rising, it is just a matter of time. The wellies are in reserve.”
Steve Roberts, sales executive at Jewsons Skoda in Abingdon Road, said: “Water is in the allotments again, which is the first to flood, but it is nowhere near as bad as it was three weeks ago.
“I would say it is probably a couple of days away if it keeps going. It certainly hasn’t come up as quickly.”
James Griffiths, Partner at Pearce Alder & Co, in Botley Road, said: “I think because the response from the officials last time was so awesome, really I think they know what they’re doing. They know how to direct the water, so I’m very reassured by that.”
Spokeswoman for the Environment Agency, Caroline Juby, said: “Groundwater and rivers such as the River Thames are slower to respond after rainfall events, so people should keep checking our flood warnings and alerts after the rain has subsided.
“Groundwater flooding can occur days or even weeks after a rainfall event.
“We have demountable defences and pumps ready to be deployed should they be required for Oxford.
“Environment Agency teams are working around the clock to repair defences; clearing blockages, deploying demountable defences and monitoring river levels to minimise flood risk.”
Yesterday, during Prime Minister’s Questions, David Cameron, MP for Witney, pledged £100m for repair and maintenance of flood defences. More details will be released today.
People can check their flood risk and get early warnings by calling the 24-hour Floodline on 0845 988 1188 or following the Environment Agency on Twitter @EnvAgencySE.
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