PEOPLE living in flood-hit areas have been warned to consider moving belongings upstairs in case their homes are flooded.

Overnight rain was threatening to trigger more flooding in Oxfordshire last night – with areas in the west of the county most at risk.

And the Environment Agency has warned those most affected to get sandbags in an effort to keep water at bay.

Dave Ferguson, a spokes-man for the Environment Agency, said: “Think about talking to the local authority, buy sandbags or move belongings upstairs if you live in a two-storey house.

“Then, should water come in, it will have less impact.Flooding can be devastating.”

Last night, a flood warning remained in force for a stretch of the Thames between villages and hamlets in West Oxfordshire and open countryside near Wolvercote roundabout, North Oxford.

A series of flood alerts were also in place elsewhere across the county.

In Bicester, around 60 residents at the Hanover Gardens sheltered housing block on Manorsfield Road had to be moved out on Christmas Eve.

Ground-floor flooding at the site forced them to move out just hours before Christmas Day, with most making last-minute arrangements to stay with family and friends.

Several roads – including a stretch of the A417 near Grove – were yesterday closed because of the flooding.

In Oxford, the Oatlands Road Recreation Ground was completely flooded and the allotments off Botley Road near the West Oxford Community Centre were also partly flooded out.

The Seacourt Stream, which runs under Botley Bridge near the Seacourt Park and Ride, was also high, with some areas of surrounding land waterlogged.

But the areas most at risk were in West Oxfordshire, where a flood warning was in place between the hamlets of Buscot Wick and Shifford.

Mr Ferguson said yesterday that river levels may rise steadily over the next couple of days.

But he said the Thames – whose waterways and backwaters thread through Oxford and the county – was often slow to react to rainfall.

And Mr Ferguson said this made it difficult to say when the flooding might ease off.

He said: “Those in areas with a flood warning need to be vigilant and aware over the next few days.”

The bad weather – which first hit on Monday night – also left hundreds of homes in the county without power.

And by yesterday afternoon, a total of 57 homes in Harpsden, near Henley, were still in the dark as flooding persisted in the area.

Southern Electric said it hoped to have most of them reconnected last night.

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