We’re drying out but areas of county remain flood-hit

Mike Parker in his flooded back garden in Islip. Picture: OX65714 Denis Kennedy

Mike Parker in his flooded back garden in Islip. Picture: OX65714 Denis Kennedy Buy this photo

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Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Blackbird Leys and Greater Leys. Call me on 01865 425403

DESPITE roads having dried up around the county after the floods, six areas across Oxfordshire are still hit by closures, with residents unable to get out and about.

Roads are closed and gardens flooded and there are still obstacles to some aspects of ordinary life.

One of the worst area hit is Drayton St Leonard, near Berinsfield.

Resident Hilary Rogers said: “It’s currently stopping me from getting about. I worry about my little Mini and I can’t get through the water.”

Ms Rogers said this is the worst flooding she has experienced in the 12 years she has lived there.

“We’re used to the flooding on one side of the village, but we have always had another route to use to get about,” she said.

“This is the first time I’ve not been able to use the other way. It’s really limiting.”

With floodwaters still an obstruction, residents have attempted to clear roads themselves.

Ms Rogers said: “I know some of the local people have tried to clear it with a big bucket, but it just filled up again a few hours later. It just drains off the fields.”

Charles Healey, who was visiting from the US to see his father Charlie – who is the landlord of the Catherine Wheel pub – said: “It’s pretty bad. The water has been running across the road for six weeks.”

On the other side of the county, in Islip, Lower Street is impassable to cars, with water more than a foot deep.

Further down the road, on Mill Street, gardens are still under water.

Resident Mike Parker said: “There was one day where it was completely impassable.

“There was a while when we were very concerned about it."

Mr Parker, 66, praised the county council for its actions to help stem the tide.

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“They were very good actually,” he said. “They gave us sandbags very quickly and sensibly decided to make a one-way road a two-way road so we could get out, which worked very well.”

Road closures are not the only problems for drivers – some roads that are open are proving dangerous.

The A4074 near Ipsden has had water streaming across it from nearby land for weeks. There have been at least two cases of cars skidding off the road and into trees in just three weeks, most recently on Tuesday.

County Council spokesman Martin Crabtree said: “We have put up warning signs to alert drivers to the conditions. Closing a road like this is usually a last resort.”

Speaking more broadly, he said: “In many cases, roads will only be clear when the water table or river levels fall. When the natural water levels reduce, the roads will be reopened.”

CURRENT ROAD CLOSURES

Still off-limits:

  • Road from A329 to Drayton St Leonard
  • Lower Street, Islip
  • Great Brook Road from Buckland Road to Chimney near Aston
  • B4016 between Blewbury and East Hagbourne
  • High Street, Drayton St Leonard
  • Moreton Lane, Northmoor

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