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Comment: Questions are floated as the water levels rise
9:00am Monday 10th February 2014 in News
AS the county wakes up this morning to yet another flooding emergency, it is rather odd that so many positives are emerging from this desperately worrying situation.
The various agencies charged with keeping the waters at bay are once again deserving of praise for their efforts thus far.
So too are the many residents who, despite facing the floods for the second time this year, are defiantly making the best of a very bad lot.
But, with things expected to get much worse before they get better, there is nothing positive about the long-term prognosis, particularly for Oxford.
The city again faces two of its main arteries, Abingdon and Botley Roads, being closed to traffic for several days – or even longer.
What was supposed to be a once-in-a-generation event is happening once or twice a year, to one degree or another.
The tremendous bulldog spirit being shown by people is wonderful to behold.
But with more heavy rain forecast for this week and the prospect of regular flooding in the future, how long can that be maintained?
Futhermore, how long will businesses carry on absorbing the inevitable loss of revenue and effectiveness caused by regular flooding?
Crucially, what needs to be done to solve the problem, how much will that cost and are the politicians prepared to spend the money?
These issues have yet to be addressed, but they will come to the fore as the floods return time and time again.
When they do, people will expect something to be done for the long term, even if it does cost millions of pounds.
Blaming the Environment Agency and others for the situation, as communities secretary Eric Pickles has done, solves nothing.
The people of this county have shown courage, patience and great resilience as the flood waters have risen around them over and over again.
They now deserve a swift, cohesive and decisive response from our local and national politicians.
Great British pluck will suffice for now, but we simply cannot go on like this.