Heavy rain causes road chaos around the county

Banbury Cake: Mandy Harding shows grandson Owen Jackson flooding in Abingdon Buy this photo Mandy Harding shows grandson Owen Jackson flooding in Abingdon

THERE was flooding across Oxfordshire after more than half the month’s expected rainfall for the county fell in just 12 hours.

Oxford University’s Radcliffe Meteorological Station in Woodstock Road measured 37mm of rain between 10am on Wednesday and 10am yesterday.

PhD student Ian Ashpole, who took the measurement, said they would normally expect an average of 65mm for the whole of October.

The heavy downfall led to road closures across Oxfordshire on Thursday morning – just days after the Environment Agency launched a major flood awareness campaign.

Roads closed included the A415 Frilford Road at Marcham both ways at the A338; the A4074 at Nuneham Courtenay at Baldon Lane; the B4017 Cumnor Road between Oxford Road at Cumnor and the B4044 Oxford Road at Farmoor. Surface water was also reported on the A34 northbound exit slip road at the Hinksey Hill Interchange, Oxford.

Antiquated drainage systems were fixed in Nuneham Courtenay five years ago, following flooding in the village in October 2006 which forced 13 families to abandon their homes for six months.

Martin Crabtree, spokesman for Oxfordshire County Council, said yesterday’s flooding in the village was due to the large amount of rain that fell in a very short space of time, rather than any problems with the drains.

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Mr Crabtree said the council was expecting any standing water around the county to drain naturally and would send contractors to any localised problems that may be caused by debris.

The flooding and road closures led to delays for drivers and people using public transport.

Mandy Harding, 46 from Abingdon, was out with her two-year-old grandson Owen Jackson at the flooded junction of Wotton Road and Dunmore Road in Abingdon, where drivers were forced to find alternative routes. Mrs Harding said: “I have lived here for nearly 20 years and I have never seen it like that in that part of Abingdon before.

“It was like a river running down the road, it was unbelievable.

“It didn’t hinder my journey, but my husband Alan had to take a detour to get to work, as did a lot of other people.”

Staff at the Oxford Harley-Davidson motorcycle garage in Wootton, near Abingdon, spent yesterday morning clearing two inches of water that flooded the showroom.

Part supervisor Adam Plumstead said: “Nothing has been damaged, we are quite lucky really.

“It has happened before, in 2007, but not to the same extent.”

Yesterday morning, the Environment Agency issued flood alerts along the River Thame including Thame and Shabbington, the River Ock from Watchfield to Abingdon and the River Ray including Islip and the Ginge Brook.

But the downpours are not expected to continue.

There is a chance of showers this evening, according to the Met Office, but dry weather is expected tomorrow.

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