WORK continued yesterday to keep flood water away from homes in Abingdon Road and Botley Road.

Residents showed their gratitude to firefighters who worked through the night to pump water away in Abingdon Road by providing refreshments and shelter at St Luke’s Church in Canning Crescent, South Oxford.

The Rev Jane Sherwood, who has kept the church open around the clock since Wednesday lunchtime, said: “I think it is great what they are doing. It seems to be really helping keep the road open.”

The traffic restrictions at the route’s junction with Weirs Lane were lifted yesterday.

The weather was mostly dry, apart from sporadic snowfall.

But the Met Office believes rain will fall throughout today and into tomorrow morning, but by Sunday the county is looking at a dry day.

Mohammad Afzal, owner of Nisa Local convenience store in Abingdon Road, estimates he has lost thousands of pounds with the road closure this week.

He said: “The road is open today and I am so pleased about how the services have committed themselves. They cleared the water and pumped it out.

“But still we have to think about a long-term solution.”

Paul Ludlam, manager at National Tyres and Autocare in Abingdon Road, said the garage had lost £15,000 because of the closure.

He added: “Hopefully we will see the last of it now. They are still pumping out some of the gardens.”

Oxford Mail:

  • Yvonne Bayliss

Grandmother-of-seven Yvonne Bayliss, 80, of Abingdon Road, said: “The pumps have been going all night. Today I am going out. I have not been out for a week.

“I am so happy to see it gone.”

But grandmother-of-11 and Weirs Lane resident Jayne Madden, 55, said she remained concerned.

She said: “With the rain over the next two days, we will be back to square one.”

There were still temporary toilets in Weirs Lane and the surrounding roads yesterday.

And those living off Botley Road who still have flooded gardens from the Bullstake stream said last night they were preparing for the worst.

Oxford Mail:

  • Mary Timbrell

Volunteer flood warden for Duke Street, Mary Timbrell, said: “My advice is hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

“The Bullstake stream is creeping up people’s gardens.

“Everyone was encouraged by the drop in the level yesterday [Wednesday], but we still need to be vigilant because water is coming from upstream.”

Yesterday morning the Environment Agency installed a new pump in Earl Street to transfer water being forced out of the drains into neighbouring fields.

But several residents’ gardens there remained submerged with floodwater mixed with foul-smelling sewage.

One of those was disabled pensioner Susan Libor, 84, who said she has relied on her neighbours to help out when she thought her home was in danger.

She said: “At the moment, I am worried that the next rain will bring the water higher and I don’t know what they can do.”