FLOODING: Caravan residents rescued as flood waters rise again

Paul Leggett evacuating his home at Bablockhythe

Declan, Shellye and Harry Fenemore play in the water in Mill Lane, Kidlington

A van driver makes his way along Chalgrove High Street on Friday

Louis Juffkins from Clifton Hampden

First published in News Banbury Cake: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter. Call me on (01865) 425373

ACROSS the county many villages and roads were hit by flooding over the weekend as the River Thames burst its banks.

The Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service was called to Thameside Court Caravan Park in Bablockhythe, near Northmoor, to rescue around 20 residents yesterday.

It was the second time in five weeks occupants of the site were affected by the flooding. Fire crews used a floating sledge and a rescue boat to get people to safety.

Paul Leggett, 65, lives on the caravan park and had to leave his home and go to stay with his family to escape the rising water levels.

He said: “It came up further last year, but it’s still pretty worrying. It seems to be happening more and more often.”

Station commander Nick Bourke, who is leading the rescue operation for the fire service, said: “There are still about 15 caravan park residents who have chosen to remain.

“We will continue to support them with any information and advice that they might want or need.”

Residents in Culham, near Abingdon, had to cope with flood water flowing across the road and lapping against sandbags just feet from their front doors.

Debbie Maddock, 45, of Abingdon Road, said: “The worst thing is when people drive through it, even though the road is closed.

“It sends a great big wave right over the wall and into our houses. These people don’t realise that their actions are flooding our homes.”

In Clifton Hampden, near Berinsfield, cottages were cut off when the High Street completely flooded on Saturday night.

Louis Juffkins, 11, said his family was also worried about the waves caused by large cars driving too fast through the flood water.

But he added: “I like the floods, though no one else does. It’s really quiet with no cars around.”

His mum, Amber, said: “It’s just a shame the water isn’t clean. When this first happened we got the inflatable boat out. But now we know it’s actually coming up through the drains – and that is not nice.”

In Chalgrove, residents were amazed that the water, which filled the High Street on Friday, showed no sign of returning.

Rodger Williams, 37, who lives in the High Street, said the pumping that Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue carried out had solved the problem completely.

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