Relief as flood alerts are lifted

First published in Countywide

THOUSANDS of residents can breathe a sigh of relief as nearly all of Oxfordshire’s rivers were taken off Flood Warning yesterday.

Water levels along the Thames dropped sufficiently for the Environment Agency to reduce its flood status.

A solitary warning for the River Thames remained, between Shiplake and Wargrave. At the height of the downpours, more than 10 flood warnings were in place, with 40 Flood Alerts across Oxfordshire.

Abingdon Road was reopened by Oxfordshire County Council on Saturday, with cars reaching businesses for the first time in almost a week.

But despite the good news for drivers, the nightmare is not yet over for residents.

Maggie Rawcliffe, chairman of South Hinksey Parish Council, said raw sewage was still under homes and in affected streets.

She added: “The clear-up has started but this could and should have been avoided.”

Other roads reopened were Binsey Lane in Oxford, Manor Road in South Hinksey, Godstow Road in Wolvercote, and the Merton to Oddington turn in Islip.

The bus gate restrictions in Oxford High Street, which had been lifted during the flooding, were reintroduced from 9am on Saturday.

However, drivers have been warned that freezing conditions combined with patches of flood water could lead to black ice.

Sub-zero temperatures forced the county council to deploy its gritters on major A and B roads several times over the weekend.

The Met Office has predicted that sub-zero temperatures are set to continue overnight for the next week.

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