FLOOD victims celebrated the arrival of a £20,000 pump that will be used exclusively for their street when severe weather comes knocking on their door.
The residents of Earl Street were out in force on Friday as they welcomed the arrival of an auxiliary pump, which has the capacity to drain the size of an Olympic swimming pool in just half an hour.
Remembering their traumatic flooding experiences of 2000, 2003, 2007 and 2014, residents said it would provide them the security they needed.
Number four resident Nick Halls applied for a grant from the Scottish and Southern Energy Network’s Community Resilience Fund to pay for the pump.
He said: “I remember when water was lapping around my ankles and I was calling the city council and environment agency to find out if they were sending a pump to us to get rid of all the water.
“Understandably, it was impossible for either of these agencies to guarantee that we would have a pump deployed here in Earl Street while the situation was still evolving.
“By having one for our street it means that when the water starts coming there is no question of whether one will be sent here.
“The city council are going to store it for us.”
Mr Halls said providers of the city council’s pumps, Stuart Pumps Ltd, had generously reduced the price of the pump to just under the £20,000 grant limit and donated the hoses and fittings free of charge.
After the devastation caused by the 2007 floods, residents were advised by the city council in 2014 to leave their homes, when the terrible weather returned.
Andy Webber has lived at number 20 for 30 years and the 64-year-old said: “I am a founding member of Oxford Flood Alliance and we have been fighting for things like this since 2000.
“Seventeen years later and we have finally got something.”
Nicola Blackwood MP for Oxford West and Abingdon joined residents in welcoming the pump, which can pump out 500 m3 an hour.
She said: “It is a great testament to the incredible hard work of local residents and the Oxford Flood Alliance who have been campaigning for 10 years to protect their homes from the risk of flooding.
“It will prevent Oxford from grinding to a halt.”