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Flood blog, Saturday, February 15 for Oxford and Oxfordshire
Updated 7:09am Sunday 16th February 2014 in News
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- More than 5,000 homes without power all day
- More than 1,000 likely to have no power overnight
- More than 150 trees have blown down
- River levels are rising again today and are likely to keep doing so for days
- Gale force winds are here again today, with heavy rain likely until 6pm
Good morning. Looking far more settled out there although there are still power cuts. We're now running a new blog for Sunday here.
THE water level on the River Evenlode at Shipton-under-Wychwood has now stabilised at about 2.2m after being raised from a level of 1.56m yesterday morning by the heavy rain yesterday and today.
There is extensive flooding of fields near the river all along its course down to the Thames at Cassington, so little sign of respite for Oxford for the time being, with plenty more water on its way from the Cotswolds.
AN UPDATE from Chiltern Railways about the closure of the line north of Banbury due to a landslip.
The line will remain closed to passenger trains again tomorrow while Network Rail engineers continue work to stabilise the cutting near Harbury tunnel in Warwickshire where the landslip happened.
Buses will continue to replace Chiltern and CrossCountry trains between Banbury and Leamington Spa, with Chiltern trains operating between Banbury and London Marylebone and Leamington and Birmingham. CrossCountry services will run between Banbury, Oxford and the South Coast and north of Leamington.
Network Rail hopes to reopen the line early on Monday, although there will be speed restrictions past the landslip, resulting in extended journey times, and further repair work may be required next weekend, which could mean more alterations to train services.
A handful of freight trains have been allowed to pass the site of the landslip today at walking pace.
A total of 1,159 homes in Oxfordshire are likely to be without power overnight.
They are in the following areas:
TAYNTON, FULBROOK, BURFORD - 164 homes
YELFORD, DUCKLINGTON - 333 homes
STEEPLE BARTON, STEEPLE ASTON, NORTH ASTON, LOWER HEYFORD, KIRTLINGTON - 406 homes
SOUTH MARCHAM - 32 homes
SOUTH UPTON, BLEWBURY - 224 homes
Officials offering support and hot meals and drinks have also visited rural areas of the county, the firm says.
A spokesman said: "We are working with Local Authority Strategic Coordinating Groups to ensure vulnerable customers are cared for and kept informed."
The firm also says people have been approaching or attempting to move damaged power lines.
The firm said in a statement: "These situations can be very unsafe and we would urge everyone to avoid them and prevent others from approaching them too, even if they are confident that the power lines are not 'live'. If you see any damaged lines, please call our emergency number 0800 072 7282 to report them."
A total of 5,033 homes in Oxfordshire remain without power tonight, electricity firm SSE has confirmed.
This is the latest from them about the situation across the region:
"Our engineers have now restored power to a further 20,000 homes this afternoon and expect to restore power to another 38,000 homes this evening. More than 120,00 homes have been reconnected in the last 24 hours.
"Over 1,000 engineers, linesmen, tree-cutters, line patrollers and support staff have been at work since early this morning with the aim of restoring all power supplies as soon as possible. Our staff are experiencing extremely challenging conditions as flooding and fallen trees make it difficult to reach areas of damage.
Currently, around 54,000 customers are without power across the area."
This image from an anonymous reader shows the fields at Newbridge, near Standlake, are full of water.
Crashing waves on Port Meadow this afternoon #oxfordfloods @TheOxfordMail http://t.co/VHxYF7qYCK— @EllaFCole 15 February 2014
Still no power in Blewbury, we are told.
This message has come in from an anonymous reader:
"Power back on in Weston on the Green at about 15.30. No expense spared at the Black Sheep where a massive rented generator pumps ale from the cellar."
@TheOxfordMail @106jackfm @OxfordshireCC Half the traffic lights are out on Boars Hill roundabout, only one side working!— @uk_darla 15 February 2014
X90 UPDATE - Due to the earlier incident on the M40, the following services are unable to operate. The 13:40 service from Oxford to London.— @OxfordBusCo 15 February 2014
@TheOxfordMail @BBCOxford @bbcweather Storm over Wantage and Grove (Oxfordshire) last Saturday (hi-res available) http://t.co/2Od0ZLJvVs— @mattyjc 15 February 2014
Southern Electric staff have just put out the latest update for customers without power.
Although the number of homes across the South East is down to 74,000, there are still about 5,000 homes in Oxfordshire without power.
Scottish and Southern Energy say 1,000 staff have been working in difficult conditions to try to restore power to all homes.
Spokeswoman Christianna Campbell said the company hoped that power would be restored to all homes by tonight but that would depend on the circumstances affecting individual areas.
She added: "Staff are working hard to get everyone back on today, so that it doesn't push into tomorrow."
Power has been restored to about 100,000 customers so far in the central southern England who lost power as a result of the stormy weather.
11:52am Sat 15 Feb 14
Public Sector workers again going the extra mile and to think, many argue they aren't productive to the economy.
Well done all, keep up the good work helping Oxford get back/stay on it's feet.
1:15pm Sat 15 Feb 14
Agreed :) Well done both to those people we see, and to those we don't (ie the co-ordinators who try to ensure that the highest priority needs are attended to)
Paddle boarder Tom Ballance has shared this video of a bit of fun around Abingdon.
Fire crews were called to Arthur Street in West Oxford at lunchtime today to deal with an incident caused by the high winds.
A spokesman for Oxfordshire Fire Service said firefighters from Rewley Road attended after corrugated iron came loose on the roof of the old mill building.
She added: "Staff across the county have been busy dealing with flooding and fallen trees."
We're moving sandbags and concrete into position for #SouthHinksey temporary #flood defences http://t.co/HHQ1LKJp8J— @EnvAgencySE 15 February 2014
The latest update from Southern Electric says more than 5,000 homes across Oxfordshire are still without power.
According to Scottish and Southern Energy, staff are working hard in challenging conditions to repair overhead lines damaged by the storm.
More than 1,000 engineers, linesmen, and tree cutters are working across the region.
And it's a tricky job as flooding and fallen trees is making it difficult for staff to access the areas that have been damaged.
About 86,000 customers in the Southern Electric area are still without power and the company says it is working with Local Authority Strategic Coordinating Groups to make sure vulnerable customers are being looked after.
@BanburyC @banburynews @philgayle @TheOxfordMail @Oxford_News field near Broughton castle. #flooding #oxonflood http://t.co/bd5NYSTR4W— @RGBPlumbing 15 February 2014
River level in the Windrush rising.
Latest measurement at Worsham, between Witney and Burford, at noon shows the water level at 1.33 metres, 6cm above the previous highest level of 1.27 metres, recorded on January 16, 2008.
River levels in Oxford are likely to rise over the next few days.
This is what the Environment Agency is saying today:
"The River Thames and small tributaries through Oxford are starting to rise slowly again. A flood warning remains in place as river levels are expected to rise further over the next few days. Levels are expected to be similar to those experienced over the past week."
River levels in Oxford are still rising again today.
Latest measurements at Kings Mill on the Cherwell in the city show the water levels are at 2.30 metres - up from around 2.20 metres last night.
Earlier this week, levels had reached 2.64 metres - only 5cm short of the highest recorded level.
Ok so how many layers are we going to need to wear to the Kassam this afternoon? We reckon a minimum of 3! #coyy— @OxfordMailOUFC 15 February 2014
@BBCBreaking @TheOxfordMail thank you so much to those who have worked hard overnight in Oxford to restore our electricity! So grateful X— @Sarah_B_Lang 15 February 2014
Fence down! Rather a windy night. @TheOxfordMail #ukstorm #wind http://t.co/fr1FZFNonw— @LauraJade22 15 February 2014
Drivers on the M40 are still facing delays as a result of fallen trees.
According to the latest traffic bulletin, the M40 northbound remains closed, due to fallen trees between junction six at Watlington and junction eight at Oxford.
The trees have been cleared from the carriageway but the road will stay closed while further investigations take place to assess the potential for further falls in the area.
There are now solid queues approaching the area and traffic is being diverted along the A40.
Thousands of residents are still without power across Oxfordshire as engineers work to get switched back on.
One person affected more than most is antique dealer Julia Cox, from Steeple Aston, near Bicester.
The 49-year-old, who lives with her two English Mastiff dogs, told us: "No one in the village has got power at the moment.
"I heard a crash in the night about 2am and a fir tree has come down across the bedroom roof - it was quite frightening.
"A tree surgeon lives next door and he is going to help me out but he can't do anything today because of the wind."
THE rain has finally relented across the Cotswolds, with sunshine and blue sky in evidence in places.
And a quick travel update for anyone travelling from Oxfordshire to Worcestershire.
First Great Western Cotswold Line trains are running at normal times between Oxford, Worcester and Hereford but trains are not running through to and from London Paddington.
A tree which was blocking the A44 west of Moreton-in-Marsh has been removed by Gloucestershire highways but there are still high winds across the area and standing water on roads, so drivers should take extra care.
WATER levels on the River Evenlode, which joins the Thames at Cassington, are continuing to rise this morning and rain is still falling on the Cotswold hills.
At Shipton-under-Wychwood, the river level at 10am was 2.15m, up from 1.56m at 11.15am yesterday, while at Evenlode Bridge, north of Kingham, the 10am reading was 1.94m, up from 89cm at 3pm yesterday. The river is on flood alert throughout its length from Moreton-in-Marsh to Cassington.
The level of the River Windrush in Witney is stable at the moment, although still well above its normal range, with a flood warning in force.
Across the boundary in Gloucestershire, the River Coln, which also feeds into the Thames, is now higher than in July 2007.
More than 150 reports of fallen trees were made to police in Oxfordshire overnight.
There have been no reports of anyone having been seriously injured in Oxfordshire.
Thames Valley Police said officers will be dealing with issues caused by the bad weather over the weekend.
Assistant Chief Constable Richard Bennett said: "We have been liaising closely with the Highways Agency overnight to ensure reports of fallen trees are dealt with and cleared to try and ensure the least amount of disruption is caused to the road network.
"Fortunately, we have not had anyone seriously injured in the Thames Valley as a result of the adverse weather conditions, although a woman was taken to hospital in Mortimer, Berkshire, last night with wrist injuries after a tree fell on her car."
County council highways staff have been out in the night clearing fallen trees from the roads.
This is the latest update we have received from Southern Electric.
Hundreds of workers are now trying to find and fix damage to power lines across Oxfordshire as 5,030 homes are still without power.
At 7am about 7,000 homes were without power but Southern Electric had restored power to 1,970 so far today by about 10.30am.
The damage was caused after severe storms and winds of up to 62mph hit the county last night.
Homes in rural Oxfordshire have been worst hit by the power cuts.
Towns and villages affected including Wallingford, Witney, Woodstock, Culham, and Ducklington.
Blackbird Leys, Botley, Cumnor, and Kidlington have also been hit.
Southern Electric spokesman Greg Clarke said: "We are doing everything we can to get power back on to the homes affected today.
"As time progresses throughout the day we will have a better picture of when we will be able to restore all the power."
Scottish and Southern Energy has brought in staff from Scotland to help tackle the problem.
A FLOOD alert has been issued this morning for the River Cole, which forms the county boundary betweeen Oxfordshire and Wiltshire and passes close to Coleshill.
For the latest updates on flood warnings and flood alerts, see the Environment Agency website.
STILL problems for rail passengers trying to head north from Oxfordshire.
A landslip near Harbury tunnel in Warwickshire has forced rhe closure of the line between Banbury and Leamington Spa.
Although Network Rail reopened one track last night, it is now closed again while engineers try to stabilise the cutting, so Chiltern Railways and CrossCountry services are suspended, with buses replacing trains between Banbury and Leamington and Banbury and Stratford-upon-Avon.
Disruption is expected to continue all day tomorrow.
South of Banbury, on its main line to London Marylebone via Bicester North, Chiltern is operating an ermergency timetable, so passengers are advised to check with staff at stations as to what services will be running.
More than 100 trees or large branches have come down. Cllr Ian Hudspeth, the leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: "I'd like to thank our highways teams who have been out about in the most treacherous of weather conditions throughout the night to deal with fallen trees and clear roads for traffic.
"Exceptionally high winds and driving rain in the darkness hours is hardly the ideal working environment and I am sure it was a very difficult night."
Some encouraging news on the Oxford United game: a club spokesman says it looks like game on on his reading of the pitch. It's soft but no surface water.
We are still being informed the M40 northbound between 6 and 8a is shut following a tree coming down.
@judelevermore @WodcNews @TheOxfordMail parts of Madley Park went off at 1045pm but power was back by midnight.— @beckstar2 15 February 2014
@TheOxfordMail a big thank you to all the services trying to repair power and clearing trees putting there lives at risk last night— @ShallowStu 15 February 2014
Ticket restrictions are lifted today which means you can use your advance purchase ticket to travel on any service.— @FGW 15 February 2014
@TheOxfordMail @HeartThames There's a 15ft trampoline in my next door neighbour's garden which wasn't there last night!!— @Lauz89 15 February 2014
"Jersey Barriers" started to arrive last night for the #SouthHinksey #flood defence. Well done #Army and #EA teams! http://t.co/CUMrxAlQjS— @BarryRussellEA 15 February 2014
Oxford rail station announcer advising only essential travel, ie not shopping or trips to see friends for foreseeable future— @wesleysmithtv 15 February 2014
The total number of households and businesses affected in Oxfordshire by power cuts is reported to be 7,000.
Rail disruption north of Oxford
On the M40 front, the trees have been cleared from the carriageway, however the motorway northbound between 6 and 8a will remain closed whilst further investigations take place to assess the potential for further falls in the area.
Further information on the tragedy in London:
A woman has been killed and a man is in hospital after part of a building collapsed on to a car.
Large chunks of masonry fell on to the vehicle, a silver Skoda Octavia, in Kingsway opposite Holborn Tube station in central London, at 11.05pm yesterday, the Metropolitan Police said.
Firefighters freed the driver - a 49-year-old woman - and a 25-year-old man who was trapped in the back seat, but the woman died at the scene.
Next of kin have been informed.
The man suffered leg injuries, and he and a 24-year-old woman, who managed to free herself from the rear of the car, were taken to hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
A fourth person, believed to be a male passer-by, was also injured and taken to hospital, London Ambulance Service (LAS) said.
A police spokesman said: "There were three occupants in the car and a woman was pronounced dead at the scene. A man was pulled from the car and was taken to hospital, where he is in a stable situation at the moment."
The fallen masonry was part of the building's concrete fascia, London Fire Brigade said.
It almost flattened the car's roof, and large pieces of rubble were left strewn across the road and pavement outside restaurants and shops.
A further 10 people were evacuated from nearby buildings as a precaution.
LAS said it sent ambulance crews, rapid responders and a doctor and paramedic from London's air ambulance to the scene, the first of whom arrived within two minutes.
High Holborn remains closed while investigators examine the scene, a police spokesman said.
@TheOxfordMail my parents live on the a34 at North Hinksey electricity all on and working!— @mandastrat24 15 February 2014
Here is a full round-up of the national picture:
Two people have died and Britain's coastal communities have been battered by high winds and huge waves as widespread flooding continues to bring misery to thousands.
A cruise ship passenger died after 80mph winds whipped up freak waves in the English Channel and a woman was killed when part of a building collapsed on to a car in central London.
More than 30 people had to be rescued by emergency services and the army from a seafront restaurant in Milford on Sea, Hampshire after wind-blown shingle shattered windows and the sea flooded it.
There is major disruption across Britain's road and rail networks, with hundreds of trees uprooted across roads and rail tracks. Many train services have been cancelled.
The Environment Agency and emergency services continue to battle with the latest instalment of the worst winter storms in living memory.
Some 22 severe flood warnings are in place, issued for coastal communities from Cornwall to Hampshire, Gloucester and the Thames Valley, where rivers remain at their highest levels for decades.
Communities across the country have been using sandbags and makeshift barriers to protect their homes and businesses from the floodwaters. Yesterday the Duke of Cambridge and his brother Prince Harry joined in the emergency relief as they helped fill sandbags in Datchet, Berkshire.
Forecasters are warning of more heavy rainfall and gale-force winds today. Southern England will see between 10mm-20mm (0.4in - 0.8in), while the South West and south Wales could see up to 40mm (1.6in), the Met Office said.
Winds have wrought fresh havoc, with gusts of up to 80mph hitting exposed parts of the south coast.
Lymington coastguard, fire services and the army rescued 32 people from the Marine Restaurant in Milford on Sea, Hampshire, at 10pm yesterday, evacuating them in an army vehicle. Hampshire Police said there were no serious injuries.
In central London, a woman died and three other people were injured when the fascia of a building collapsed on to a car opposite Holborn underground station.
A man and a woman were freed from the car but the woman died at the scene, London Ambulance Service said. A man in his 20s was taken to hospital with leg injuries, where he is in a stable condition.
An 85-year-old man died yesterday after the 22,000-tonne Marco Polo cruise ship was hit by a freak wave in the English Channel.
Water crashed through a window, injuring a number of people. The man was airlifted off the vessel along with a woman in her 70s, but later died. A number of other passengers received minor injuries and were treated on board.
Waves of up to 10m reportedly threatened to cut off Portland in Dorset, while people in Portsmouth have been receiving hoax calls calling for them to evacuate their homes amid flooding fears, Hampshire police said.
Trees are reported to have fallen on trains near Mottingham in south-east London, and near Winterslow in Wiltshire, but no one was hurt in either episode.
All train services west of Plymouth have been cancelled, while a landslide near Redhill has hit the line south of the capital.
South West Trains has cancelled nearly all of its services until it is safe for them to run, while First Great Western is advising passengers not to travel, and has speed restrictions of 50mph across most of its network.
And from Stagecoach:
The Oxford Tube is currently operating to the full route with no siginifcant delays.
Route 31 - Abingdon Road is now open in both directions. Canning Crescent bus stop is closed outbound. There is a multiple vehicle accident on the A34 at Hinksey Hill which is causing delays.
We will monitor the services throughout the day and post updates as the situation changes. We apologise for any inconvenience caused..
Services Affected: 12, 16, 16A, 31, 34, S3, X30
Latest information from Thames Travel
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.
Oxford Bus Company services are back running to timetable and usual routes.
Two people have died overnight across the country, including a woman in London when a building fell on a car. Estimated 40,000 homes without power across the country.
No change on the flood warnings from the Environment Agency
- River Thames from Buscot Wick down to Shifford including Buscot, Kelmscott, Radcot, Lower Bampton area and Chimney Area
- River Thames between Newbridge and Kings Lock above Oxford including Northmoor, Stanton Harcourt, Bablock Hythe and caravan park, Eynsham, Swinford and Yarnton
- River Thames and tributaries in the Binsey, Osney and Osney Island areas in Oxford
- River Thames and tributaries at New Botley, New and North Hinksey and Grandpont in Oxford
- River Thames and tributaries at Kennington near Oxford
- River Thames at Culham
- River Thames in Abingdon
- River Thames at Clifton Hampden, Dorchester and Little Wittenham
- River Thames from Days Lock down to South Stoke, including Dorchester-on-Thames and Overy, Shillingford, Benson, Wallingford, North Stoke and Moulsford
- River Windrush at Witney and Ducklington down to and including Hardwick
- River Thame from Chiselhampton to Drayton St Leonard including Newington
- River Thame in the Dorchester and Overy areas
Remember as well that there is a pitch inspection at the Kassam this morning at 9.30am. We will have the result of that as soon as it is through and it will also be posted on our three relevant Twitter accounts @TheOxfordMail, @OxfordMailOUFC and @OxfordTimes
And while we are on a yellow warning for wind, anyone planning to travel south and east of Oxfordshire should be aware they are on an amber warning there.
Here is the current Met Office forecast:
Severe gales in the south slowly easing, but staying rather windy. Showers continuing, some heavy and thundery in southern Britain with some more persistent rain for a time.
Becoming dry with clear spells. Winds continuing to ease, becoming cold with a risk of frost and icy patches.
Down at Benson it was even windier. Gusts hit 62mph, back down to 45mph at 6am.
Out at the weather station at Brize Norton, the wind was gusting to 53mph at 8pm and 55mph at midnight. It's "settled" back to 36mph in the past hour.
The weather forecast offers little optimism. Yellow warnings for wind and rain through to this afternoon. And the wet stuff will carry on falling into this evening, say the Met Office.
More than 100 trees or large branches that have fallen now dealt with by Oxfordshire County Council.
The Highways Agency has two reported problems on the M40 south of Oxford on the northbound carriageway. It is estimating re-opening it at 9am.
The M40 is closed northbound due to fallen tree between J6 B4009 (Watlington) and J8 M40 A40 Spur (Oxford).
The flooding near Maidenhead is still affecting the signals, so First Great Western customers have that still to contend with.
Here's its advice for Oxford to Paddington services:
- Local stopping services will operate between Reading and Didcot Parkway only.
- Connecting services to London Paddington will be extremely limited.
Looking at the trains now but First Great Western has ramped up its warning to a pretty stark: Due to major disruptions across the entire First Great Western network, customers are advised not to travel until further notice.
Due to the poor weather conditions a speed restriction of 50 mph is in place on most of our network.— @FGW 15 February 2014
@TheOxfordMail http://t.co/YXpgNUSg5n— @_LeonMatthews 15 February 2014
@TheOxfordMail Littlemore Road just off Bartholomew Road Oxford— @_LeonMatthews 15 February 2014
Here is a list of current power outages from Scottish and Southern. If you need to call the company, the number is 0800 072 7282 and then quote the reference number supplied.
Fault reference V26831, Reported at 04:40:00, 4 known affected area(s)
SHIPTON ON CHERWELL
HENLEY ON THAMES
145 known affected area(s)
@TheOxfordMail huge tree blocking Woodstock Road, both directions, near Blanford Avenue— @kirstyphipps 15 February 2014
Bear with us while we work through the list but each red dot is a reported power cut at the moment...
@WodcNews @TheOxfordMail any news on power cuts in Witney?— @judelevermore 15 February 2014
@BBCOxford @TheOxfordMail Major power disruption North Hinksey / Botley wholevarea in darkness Energy company say no updates before 11.00— @McGinOxford 15 February 2014
It's been an unpleasant night obviously and the high winds have seen more than 90 trees or large branches have come down.
More than 40 Oxfordshire County Council staff have been out dealing with fallen trees, including on the A44 near Woodstock, the Woodstock Road in Oxford - where a fallen tree damaged a streetlight, the A44 at Chipping Norton, the B4507 Sparsholt Road, the A361/A424 Burford Roundabout, High Street, Steventon and the B4016 Appleford Road, Sutton Courtenay.
There is also an ongoing situation where a large tree has come down in Hook Norton Road in Great Rollright.
A council spokesman said: "It will take some time before this can be cleared.
"All parts of the county have been affected in equal measure."
For those planning to come into the city for shopping, etc Seacourt Park and Ride is open, as are all the other park and rides.
Abingdon and Botley roads remain open obviously. Here's the current list of road closures:
- 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
Good morning. Another early one but here is the round-up of the flooding and weather situation for Saturday...