FLOODS: Neighbours rally to get sandbags filled

FLOODS: Neighbours rally to get sandbags filled

Paul Einon and Andrew Whittington of Oxford City Council check the pump in Bullstake Close, West Oxford

Binsey Lane

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by

AS the waters rose in West Oxford residents braced themselves for a repeat of last month’s flooding.

Yesterday neighbours were rallying round to help each other fill sandbags as they prepared for the latest deluge of dirty floodwater.

Botley Road remained open throughout the day, but many streets running off it were hit by flooding, including Bullstake Close, Binsey Lane, Osney Court and Ferry Hinksey Road.

Colin Hannaford, 69, from the nearby Marlborough Court, went to the PC World car park off Botley Road to fill up sandbags for him and his neighbours.

He said: “The weather is still bad so we are creeping up to the point that we feel we need those sandbags back again. We can see the water filling the fields.

“We are worried again, of course. We were calling the Environment Agency before Christmas. We had sandbags but they were taken away just before Christmas so now we have to fill them up again.”

In Bullstake Close, employees of Oxford City Council used mobile pumps and a metal barrier to protect homes next to the flooded Osney St Thomas allotments.

Colin Howes, 74, said: “We’re getting used to it now. This is the fourth time in the past 10 years.

“But the barrier has done a brilliant job. In 2007 the water came into all our homes and this time we have all been protected. I just hope it doesn’t get much higher.”

Maria Banks, 46, protected her home against flooding in Manor Road, South Hinksey, with a pump system.

The police officer said: “Flooding again. We are about two bricks from it being as bad as last time.

“But one of my neighbours is flooded and she isn’t home.

“She is away over Christmas and New Year. She didn’t leave her keys with anyone either so there is nothing we can do.”

Sarah Balaam, another Manor Road resident, said: “We are ok but not everyone is. I’m just checking on things.

“One of my neighbours is flooded and I’m just checking on another neighbour to tighten their door because they are not home. “ I know they were away for Christmas.”

St Lawrence Road resident, Julia Candy, said: “Luckily our house is quite new and has been built to withstand the floods.

“The garden and the driveway are under water and it got a lot worse on Christmas Day but it’s not as bad as last month.”

County council spokesman Paul Smith said he was not aware of his authority’s staff removing any sandbags from the area. He said: “Speaking generally the only reason sandbags would be taken away by any organisation is if they are damaged or affected in some way by floodwater they’ve already been in contact with.”

Floodwater was last night lapping at homes in Redbridge Hollow, a traveller site near Kennington. One house was flooded during the wet weather a month ago and last night water was again almost to the doors.

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