Flood blog: Friday, February 14

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  • Many homes without power
  • Gale force winds battering the county
  • More bad weather to come between now and Tuesday
  • Botley Road and Abingdon Road remain open

7:38am

Good morning. We have started a new blog for Saturday. Click through for fulll updates for both the county and the country. Two people have died, 40,000 homes are without power and the M40 is currently closed due to a fallen tree. We've got hundreds of power cuts locally, more than 100 trees or large branches down and First Great Western are advising people not to travel. Updates constantly posted on the new blog

1:17am

TOPPLED trees are now starting to take their toll on the roads and railways.

  • The northbound M40 is currently closed between junction 6 at Lewknor and junction 8 at Wheatley.
  • The London Paddington-Reading rail line is blocked by a fallen tree near Twyford.

12:50am

APART from Witney, other areas of Oxfordshire that Scottish & Southern Power Distribution says have had problems with electricity supplies tonight include: 

  • Middle Aston, Rousham, Steeple Aston and Tackley
  • Bletchington, Kirtlington, Wheatley and Woodstock
  • Ardington, Rowstock, Lockinge and the Hendreds.
  • Deddington, Great Tew, Hempton and Over Norton
  • Chadlington, Charlbury, Spelsbury and Walcot
  • Dry Sandford, Frilford, Fyfield, Marcham and Tubney
  • Berinsfield, Burcot, Clifton Hampden, Culham, Long Wittenham and North Moreton.

12:34am

12:33am

12:32am

12:31am

THE water level on the River Evenlode is still rising as a result of the rain.

The reading at Shipton-under-Wychwood at midnight was 2.11m, up from 2.06m at 8pm and 1.56m at 11.15am yesterday and upstream at Evenlode Bridge, between Kingham and Moreton-in-Marsh, the latest reading, also taken at midnight, is 1.81m, up from 89cm at 3pm.

12:24am

12:22am

Power in Witney is back on, but it appears hundreds of homes were without power for around 45 minutes.

12:21am

Gale force winds tonight in Oxfordshire, Met Office is saying. Trees will fall down at such speeds. 

12:19am

12:18am

12:17am

12:16am

12:16am

12:16am

IF YOU are hoping to travel by rail tomorrow and on Sunday, the best advice is to check what services are operating before setting out to stations.

With wind and rain battering the region overnight there may be more problems with fallen trees and other damage, to add to the problems caused by flooding in the Thames Valley and the landslip at Harbury in Warwickshire, which is affecting the Banbury-Leamington Spa route.

If no further problems arise - click on their names below for the latest updates or call 08457 484950 - operators expect to run the following services tomorrow:

First Great Western

Two stopping trains per hour will run each way between Oxford, Didcot Parkway and Reading. Due to flood damage to signal equipment near Maidenhead, only five trains per hour each way can run between Reading and London Paddington. Passengers can also use South West Trains services between Reading and London Waterloo. There will be fewer expresses than normal between Didcot Parkway and London and to stations west of Didcot. Apart from some early-morning westbound trains which will run through from London to Oxford and Worcestershire, Cotswold Line trains will only operate between Oxford and Worcester, Great Malvern or Hereford. FGW's Oxford-Banbury stopping trains will run at normal times.

Chiltern Railways

As a result of the landlsip, one train per hour will operate in each direction between Banbury, Bicester North, Haddenham & Thame Parkway and London Marylebone. Buses will replace Chiltern trains between Banbury and Leamington Spa and Banbury and Stratford-upon-Avon. An hourly train service will run between Leamington and Birmingham, supplemented by a few London Midland stopping services. Chiltern passengers will be able to use the limited CrossCountry train service that is planned to operate between Banbury and Birmingham - see below. Remember that the Oxford-Islip-Bicester Town line has now closed for rebuilding, so buses replace trains on this route.

CrossCountry

Network Rail has reopened one of the tracks past the landslip at Harbury but with severe limits on how many trains can run and a speed restriction. CrossCountry plans to operate an hourly service between Birmingham, Leamington, Banbury, Oxford, Reading and the South Coast, but journey times will be extended by about 30 minutes.

9:56pm

The national picture is not looking great... nor is it locally, as a quick look out the window proves.

Simon Hughes, Environment Agency Regional Manager, said:
“Our sincere sympathy is with those who have already experienced flooding.

“We advise communities to remain vigilant as further heavy rain is forecast for the weekend, bringing with it the risk of further flooding across the South East."

9:51pm

This just in from Chiltern Railways:

"No trains are running between Leamington Spa and Banbury due to a landslip.  Chiltern Railways are advising customers north of Banbury to use Virgin Trains between London Euston and Birmingham New Street."

 

This is the latest travel advice from the firm for tonight: 

"• We are running trains to/from London and Banbury and Leamington Spa and Birmingham however, these are subject to delays and last minute cancellations
• If you are travelling north of Banbury, we are advising to travel with Virgin Trains between London Euston and Birmingham New Street and then take services south.
• If you are going to Stratford-upon-Avon, we are terminating services at Banbury and running a bus service between Banbury and Stratford-upon-Avon.
• We are running a bus replacement service between Banbury and Leamington Spa and Cross Country are running a bus replacement service between Coventry, Leamington Spa and Banbury."

And here it is for Saturday:

"• We are running one train an hour between Birmingham Moor Street and Leamington Spa departing Birmingham at xx15mins past the hour

• We are running one train an hour between Banbury and London Marylebone. The trains will depart London at xx36 past the hour
• There may be some last minute delays and cancellations as a result of the landslip
• If you are travelling north of Banbury, we are advising to travel with Virgin Trains between London Euston and Birmingham New Street and then take services south
• If you are going to Stratford-upon-Avon, we are terminating services at Banbury and running a bus service between Banbury and Stratford-upon-Avon
• We are running a bus replacement service between Banbury and Leamington Spa and Cross Country are running a bus replacement service between Coventry, Leamington Spa and Banbury"

 

Tickets information...


"People holding super off peak and advance tickets can travel on any train
Travel advice for Sunday 16 February?
Network Rail engineers are on site and are working hard to make the area safe. At present, we do not know what services we will be able to operate on Sunday."

9:12pm

River levels are rising slowly in Oxford tonight.

The river level at Kings Mill is 2.22 metres - up slightly on earlier today.

The highest river level recorded at this location is 2.69 metres - but it was 2.64 metres a few days ago.

9:10pm

This is the latest flooding report for the Osney area of Oxford from the Environment Agency:

 

"The River Thames and small tributaries through Oxford are stabilising following recent rainfall.

"A flood warning remains in place as river levels are expected to rise again later today into saturday.

"Levels are expected to be similar to those experienced over the past week."

9:06pm

9:06pm

8:47pm

A FLOOD alert has just been issued for the Clanfield Brook at Clanfield and the Shill Brook at Bampton.

Heavy rain is falling across the Cotswold hills tonight, which will push up water levels on the River Thames and its tributaries above Oxford, including the Windrush and Evenlode.

The water level on the Evenlode at Shipton-under-Wychwood has already risen today from 1.56m in late morning to 2.06m at 8pm.

8:31pm

A spokesman of SSE has just confirmed that currently about 200 homes in Oxfordshire are without power.

The spokesperson told the Oxford Mail: “We would like to apologise to those of our customers whose supplies are out.

“The way the weather is going, there is potential for more damage to the network.

“We are doing everything we can to make sure supplies go back on as quickly and as safely as possible.

“But for some areas it will be unsafe for engineers to attempt repairs until a later time.”

8:03pm

8:00pm

More trouble if you are a rail commuter I'm afraid

7:54pm

7:52pm

6:54pm Fri 14 Feb 14

eleanor.young123 says

Firefighters out on Abingdon Rd at the moment. Hope everyone spares a thought for them given the weather this Friday evening.

7:52pm

7:47pm

COMMUNITIES have been warned to stay vigilant for the risk of flooding this weekend, following forecasts for yet more heavy rain.

The Environment Agency said its teams are out in Oxford  and across the region patrolling rivers and locks and checking defences, pumps and water levels.

Water levels on the River Thames upstream of Oxford are continuing to rise slowly. Downstream they are reported to be falling but are forecast to slowly rise  again over the weekend.

Demountable flood barriers were put up at South Hinksey this afternoon, as part of a large-scale joint operation between the Environment Agency and the armed forces which have set up a command centre in the village hall.

6:33pm

Kidlington resident Maurice Billington has been in touch to report flash flooding tonight in Mill Street in the village.

 

6:26pm

6:25pm

5:42pm

The landslip that has blocked some of the rail line between Banbury and Leamington Spa is likely to see problems through into tomorrow.

CrossCountry and Chiltern Railways services are affected.

A Chiltern spokeswoman said: “At the moment Network Rail are on the site, but it is likely that disruption will continue tomorrow.

“The 17.15 service between London Marylebone and Birmingham will run through the affected area, but at a reduced speed.

“We are advising customers north of Banbury to go with Virgin Trains at this time.”

5:22pm

Oxford Bus Company services are not being affected by flooding this evening.

Thames Travel says:

Route 139 is still experiencing delays due to flooding through the route. 

97 services are still diverting via Abingdon, then Drayton, then Milton.

X1 services are still diverting due to Drayton Road in Sutton Courtenay being closed in both directions between the Church Street junction and the Milton Road junction.

Stagecoach is also unaffected, save for this:

Route 31- Abingdon Road is now open in both directions.  Canning Crescent bus stop is closed outbound.

5:20pm

Here's your road closures for the commute home tonight:

  • Lower Street, Islip
  • Road from A329 to Drayton St Leonard
  • Great Brook Road from Buckland Road to Chimney near Aston
  • Spring Lane, Playhatch
  • Grove Road, Harwell
  • Icknield Road, South Stoke from Grove Road to Woodcote Road
  • B4016 between Blewbury and East Hagbourne
  • High Street, Clifton Hampden
  • B478 Sonning Bridge
  • Road through the village of North Weston to Shabbington Rd
  • Knightsbridge Lane, Pyrton, near Watlington
  • Pembroke Lane, Milton (Vale)
  • Old Wharf Road, Longcot
  • High Street, Drayton St Leonard
  • London Lane, Ascott-under-Wychwood, from railway station to junction with A361
  • Godstow Road, Oxford from A34 bridge near Wolvercote to bridge near Wytham
  • Dry Lane, Crawley
  • Mill Lane, Henley
  • Mill Rd, Lower Shiplake from the junction of Mill Rd / Mill Lane to the junction of Mill Rd / New Rd

5:15pm

5:14pm

5:13pm

5:12pm

4:20pm

Military personnel from RAF Brize Norton have been deployed to help with the flooding effort.

A total of 100 men and women from RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire and Brize have been based at Chieveley in Berkshire, making thousands of sandbags.

The sand is delivered to the depot from across the UK, where it is bagged and taken off by lorry.

4:17pm

Work has begun on the South Hinksey wall. Each block weighs 2.5 tonnes.

Eighty personnel from Dalton Barracks are working on the scheme, as are staff from the Environment Agency.

The Devil's Backbone will be closed during the work and a brook will have to be dammed.

3:57pm

Military personnel have arrived in South Hinksey to build a concrete barrier partly around the village to prevent it from flooding. Work will be carried out overnight and through the weekend.

Firefighters are also on the scene to pump water over the barrier. The village hall is being used as a command centre.

It 750m long and about a metre high.

3:44pm

2:39pm

Oxford United will have a pitch inspection at 9.30am tomorrow ahead of their match against Mansfield at the Kassam due to the expected rainfall this afternoon and this evening.

2:38pm

A LANDSLIP has blocked railway tracks between Leamington Spa and Banbury.

A spokeswoman from Network Rail said that engineers are currently at the scene, assessing the situation.

An hourly train service from CrossCountry will run through Banbury - these services are expected to be delayed by approximately 30 minutes. There are two Chiltern trains an hour from London Marylebone to Banbury with buses bridging the gap.

Passengers with Chiltern Railways tickets for trains going in either direction from London Marylebone to Birmingham New Street may currently board Virgin Trains services.

The spokeswoman added: “At the moment there is no estimate for when normal services will resume.

“Any landslip is serious and passengers’ safety is our primary concern.

“Our engineers must first check the area is safe.”

2:23pm

Oxford Mail:

A council worker joined in the fun when William and Harry spent the morning shifting sandbags in flooded Berkshire.

As the Duke of Cambridge and his brother were snapped by the press, the joker managed to get in on the action by popping into the shot, taken by the news agency the Press Association.

The rather wet royal brothers were in Datchet from 6am helping to organise flood defences in the rain.

 

2:05pm

1:46pm

Chiltern Railways services are being disrupted between Leamington Spa and Banbury today due to a landslip.

Engineers are currently on site but it is not yet known for how long the disruption will continue.

The service is running a replacement bus service and for more information on how to make alternative journey plans visit chilternrailways.co.uk

12:10pm

11:43am

Mr McKnight also gives us the immediate forecast of the rain coming in today and that it will see the Thames begin to rise again

11:33am

11:32am

Environment Agency programme manager Dave McKnight says the threat of flooding will remain in the short term even if the rain clears up

11:27am

9:43am

The Environment Agency has just told us that the risk of flooding could remain in the county for weeks.

9:19am

8:13am

8:13am

8:10am

The river levels at the Kings Mill on the Cherwell in Oxford remain stable, but are well down on near record levels seen earlier in the week.

The river level at Kings Mill is 2.16 metres. The highest river level recorded at this location is 2.69 metres - and it reached 2.64 metres earlier this week.

8:08am

This is the latest assessment, made by the Environment Agency at around 5.30am today, of the river levels in the Osney area of the city.

"The River Thames and small tributaries through Oxford are stabilising following recent rainfall.

"A flood warning remains in place as river levels are expected to rise again later today into Saturday.

"Levels are expected to be similar to those experienced over the past week."

 

7:59am

If you still need a sandbag, dumps are at the Duke of Monmouth pub, on Abingdon Road, Oxford and PC World, Botley Road, Oxford.

 

Oxford City Council, West Oxfordshire District Council, South Oxfordshire District Council and Vale of White Horse District Council also supply them.

7:22am

While we are not out of the woods yet, if there is someone you want to nominate as a flood hero, please go to this nomination form or call us on 01865 425500.

7:12am

No school closures reported this morning.

7:03am

Some advice that came in from the Fire Service yesterday for those thinking of beginning to clean up their homes and businesses:

Firefighters are warning people returning to their homes to start the clean up to be wary of several safety risks.

A spokesman for Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service said that flood water could be contaminated and there was the potential hazard associated with power supplies and electrical equipment.

Area manager Nigel Wilson said: "Residents should get their electricity supply checked when moving back into flooded properties - and avoid using old and potentially unsafe portable heaters to dry out rooms.

"As everyone should know, water and electricity just don't go well together. If your home has been flooded, get your local electricity supply checked before switching back on, and don't use electrical equipment exposed to flood water until it has been checked by a qualified electrician. You should also have your gas or oil central heating checked by a qualified person."

People pumping water out of their homes should use generators, he added.

Mr Wilson said: "Anyone using a generator to pump water from their home to make sure it is positioned outside in the open air as generators produce carbon monoxide fumes which can kill."

7:00am

Still a most unsatisfactory day on the weather front.

Heavy rain and a yellow warning from the Met Office all day and through to about this time tomorrow. The rain lightens off but does not go away.

Sunday is forecast to be dry but light rain all Monday and showers Tuesday afternoon.

6:57am

Not looking good on the sporting front:

Oxford City Council has said: 

"Following recent wet weather and flooding in Oxford, the Parks and Open Spaces Team have continued to monitor the playability of our sports pitches for Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 February 2014.

Cancelled matches
All matches have been cancelled on the following pitches:

•Northway
•Court Place Farm - FB3, and all junior pitches
•Cutteslowe Park - FB6, 7 & 8
•Five Mile Drive - FB1
•Quarry
•Horspath
•Hinksey
•Grandpont - FB1
•Cowley Marsh - FB5 & FB1,2 & 4
Matches playable
Currently, matches can be played on:

•Court Place Farm - FB1
•Cutteslowe Park - FB1 to FB5
•Five Mile Drive - FB2 and all 7v7
•Barton - all pitches
•Blackbird Leys - all pitches
•Sandy Lane - all pitches
•Rose Hill
•Cowley Marsh - FB3
If the wet weather continues, all games will be subject to a final referee's decision."

Anyone with queries about their game this weekend should call 01865 252240 during office hours, or 07711439090 out of hours.

6:53am

Couple of video bulletins for you from the Press Association:

6:51am

Although not flooding-related, a reminder that today is the last day of Chiltern Railways trains between Oxford, Islip and Bicester Town before the line closes for rebuilding as part of the projects to create a second Oxford-London rail link via Bicester and to reopen the East West Rail route between Oxford, Bicester, Milton Keynes and Bedford.

Due to the forecasts of high winds and heavy rain across southern England for much of Friday, rail services may be altered and cancelled at short notice and passengers are advised to check before setting out to stations. See the train operators' websites, National Rail or call 08457 484950.

6:49am

Stagecoach hasn't updated its information since yesterday lunchtime. This is what it was saying then:

The Oxford Tube is currently operating to the full route with no siginifcant delays.

Route 16/16A - Buses are running along Donnington Bridge and Abingdon Road in both directions but buses towards the city centre are having to turn left on to the Abingdon Road and then turning round at the roundabout to head into the city.  Passengers are advised to expect delays, particularly in the peaks.  These delays may also have an impact on route 12.

Route 31 and 34 - Abingdon Road is now open in both directions and buses have returned to normal route.  However the Canning Crescent bus stop is closed outbound.

Route 200 - now operating to the full route

Services Affected: 12, 16, 16A, 31, 34, 200, S3, X30

6:48am

Thames Travel is still affected:

97 services are still diverting via Abingdon, then Drayton, then Milton.

X1 services are still diverting due to Drayton Road in Sutton Courtenay being closed in both directions between the Church Street junction and the Milton Road junction.

6:47am

Oxford Bus Company services are running to timetable and with no diversions due to flooding.

6:45am

CrossCountry services are running between Oxford and Reading.

6:41am

Disruption on First Great Western between Oxford and Reading due to flooding. The flooding between Oxford and Radley has been cleared, however a half-hourly shuttle remains in place because of the separate flooding at Maidenhead.

  • Local stopping services will operate between Reading and Didcot Parkway only
  • Connecting services to London Paddington will be extremely limited
  • Customers wishing to travel from Oxford to London may find it easier to travel via Banbury into London Marylebone, where FGW tickets will be valid

London Paddington - North Cotswolds

  • Throughout the day services will run between Oxford and Worcester only. We expect to be able to extend those services into London in the morning peak, and provide services out of London in the evening peak. Please check JourneyCheck for the latest information
  • London Midland Trains are accepting FGW tickets for services between Worcester and Great Malvern

6:39am

To catch up, the Environment Agency said that while we have seen the flood waters go down obviously, today's rain is likely to see the level return to their previous height over coming days.

6:37am

First Great Western is still affected. Just gathering the information for you but the company has tweeted it is a limited service.

6:35am

Abingdon Road and Botley Road are both open and access to Kennington was opened up yesterday.

 

6:35am

Good morning.

Nothing has changed overnight so the current state of the roads is

  • Lower Street, Islip
  • Road from A329 to Drayton St Leonard
  • Great Brook Road from Buckland Road to Chimney near Aston
  • Spring Lane, Playhatch
  • Grove Road, Harwell
  • Icknield Road, South Stoke from Grove Road to Woodcote Road
  • B4016 between Blewbury and East Hagbourne
  • High Street, Clifton Hampden
  • B478 Sonning Bridge
  • Road through the village of North Weston to Shabbington Rd
  • B4009 between Aston Rowant and Kinston Blount (also at Crowell )
  • Knightsbridge Lane, Pyrton, near Watlington
  • Pembroke Lane, Milton (Vale)
  • Old Wharf Road, Longcot
  • High Street, Drayton St Leonard
  • London Lane, Ascott-under-Wychwood, from railway station to junction with A361
  • Godstow Road, Oxford from A34 bridge near Wolvercote to bridge near Wytham
  • Dry Lane, Crawley
  • Mill Lane, Henley
  • Mill Rd, Lower Shiplake from the junction of Mill Rd / Mill Lane to the junction of Mill Rd / New Rd
  • Culham Bridge on Tolgate Road, Culham
  • B4016 Drayton Road, Sutton Courtenay

Comments (7)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:30am Fri 14 Feb 14

shippondame says...

Great news! Nicola Blackwood has at last popped her head up above the waters! We should all be grateful to her and praise the Lord for we are saved..
My foot!
Great news! Nicola Blackwood has at last popped her head up above the waters! We should all be grateful to her and praise the Lord for we are saved.. My foot! shippondame

10:27am Fri 14 Feb 14

Assay14 says...

shippondame wrote:
Great news! Nicola Blackwood has at last popped her head up above the waters! We should all be grateful to her and praise the Lord for we are saved..
My foot!
She was on Botley Road at the beginning of the week with Eric Pickles, wasn't she? Can't guarantee what she has or hasn't achieved, but I do think she's quite visible as a politician........
[quote][p][bold]shippondame[/bold] wrote: Great news! Nicola Blackwood has at last popped her head up above the waters! We should all be grateful to her and praise the Lord for we are saved.. My foot![/p][/quote]She was on Botley Road at the beginning of the week with Eric Pickles, wasn't she? Can't guarantee what she has or hasn't achieved, but I do think she's quite visible as a politician........ Assay14

12:06pm Fri 14 Feb 14

longbridgedave says...

The lock keeper at Abingdon rescued a young boy from the river by the weir on Sunday, I guess you guys don't know about seeing as it hasn't been in the paper or the flooding blog. The bloke's working bloody hard up there at the moment and saving that kid deserves recognition. Thought you should know

Dave
The lock keeper at Abingdon rescued a young boy from the river by the weir on Sunday, I guess you guys don't know about seeing as it hasn't been in the paper or the flooding blog. The bloke's working bloody hard up there at the moment and saving that kid deserves recognition. Thought you should know Dave longbridgedave

12:11pm Fri 14 Feb 14

John Hatch says...

If Nicola Blackwood wants to do something useful, she can find out why the Vale of White Horse D.C. keep blocking the Kennington Road with a dam - and thus to prevent access between Kennington and Oxford, and the Southern Bypass - when there is no water on the Kennington Road.
If Nicola Blackwood wants to do something useful, she can find out why the Vale of White Horse D.C. keep blocking the Kennington Road with a dam - and thus to prevent access between Kennington and Oxford, and the Southern Bypass - when there is no water on the Kennington Road. John Hatch

12:47pm Fri 14 Feb 14

CupHalfFull says...

Nicola Blackwood is quoted elsewhere saying the following "But what we need now are long term solutions, strategic dredging and clearing of drainage routes and improvements to our inadequate drainage system."
I don't think it would be possible to be more wrong. This is the philosophy of intervention that has led to much worse flooding as rivers run off more quickly leading to higher and more intense flooding further down stream. In fact what civil engineers are now realising is that slowing the flow of rivers and improving the capacity of the ground to absorb water is what will protect communities on our river banks from the worst effects of prolonged downpours.
Nicola Blackwood is quoted elsewhere saying the following "But what we need now are long term solutions, strategic dredging and clearing of drainage routes and improvements to our inadequate drainage system." I don't think it would be possible to be more wrong. This is the philosophy of intervention that has led to much worse flooding as rivers run off more quickly leading to higher and more intense flooding further down stream. In fact what civil engineers are now realising is that slowing the flow of rivers and improving the capacity of the ground to absorb water is what will protect communities on our river banks from the worst effects of prolonged downpours. CupHalfFull

6:54pm Fri 14 Feb 14

eleanor.young123 says...

Firefighters out on Abingdon Rd at the moment. Hope everyone spares a thought for them given the weather this Friday evening.
Firefighters out on Abingdon Rd at the moment. Hope everyone spares a thought for them given the weather this Friday evening. eleanor.young123

4:05am Sat 15 Feb 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

I've noticed a few walls and fences have been blown over tonight, in the communal garden behind me.
I've noticed a few walls and fences have been blown over tonight, in the communal garden behind me. Dilligaf2010

Comments are closed on this article.

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