Flooded families are happy to be home and dry

Keiron and Polly Blay outside their home

The height of the floods in Hinksey

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Council Reporter, also covering Oxford city centre. Call me on 01865 425429

FLOOD victims last night spoke of how pleased they were to be back in their homes a year after being hit by a burst water main.

Eight homes in South Hinksey were flooded when the 24in water main burst and left flood water covering half a square mile.

Tomorrow marks a year since the incident and now all eight families have been able to return to their homes. Keiron Blay, in Manor Road, said: “We have been back in out house since October and we are very pleased to be back.

“Our neighbours have still had problems with damp under the floor and we have adjoining cellars so whether the damp will affect us, I don’t know.

“We have heard nothing from Thames Water and no one has come forward to ask us how we are doing, even to write to us.

“I haven’t heard anything from them since July and that was only because we were chasing them up.”

Mr Blay, his wife Polly and their four children spent eight months living in rented accommodation in Cumnor Hill.

The 48-year-old said some of the villagers were discussing writing to the company about outstanding compensation claims.

At one point 2,500 homes were without water as a result of the burst at around 7am. Within an hour the water was up to three-feet deep.

It took Thames Water until 9am to shut the water supply off but by then more than 30 firefighters had come to the scene and South Hinksey had to be completely sealed off to traffic.

Oxfordshire County Council had to construct a temporary road to allow people to get in and out of the village.

Thames Water has put the cause of the burst down to the age of the pipe.

Its spokesman Craig Rance said: “Any time a water main bursts flooding homes it is hugely frustrating for our customers. Long after the water subsides there is still work to be done to clean up the damage.

“We sympathise deeply with anyone who is still out of their home and our loss adjusters are working with insurers to resolve any outstanding claims.”

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