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Good morning. Thankfully the flooding situation is such that we will not have a flood blog on today.
FLOOD warnings have been lifted tonight at the following locations in Oxfordshire:
- River Thames in Abingdon
- River Thames at Kennington
- River Thames at Culham
- River Thames at Clifton Hampden, Dorchester and Little Wittenham
- River Thames at Goring
- River Windrush at Witney and Ducklington
Note that all these areas remain on flood alert.
Flood Warning also removed from river Windrush at Witney http://t.co/taffttcQp5 #oxonflood— @OxfordshireCC 17 February 2014
Helicopter crews from RAF Benson have joined in helping flood relief efforts in Oxfordshire.
Puma and Merlin crews have been supporting commanders on the ground by assessing the flood damage from the skies.
The helicopters will remain on standby for the next two weeks but this could be extended if rainfall continues.
Many Oxon rivers are peaking/beginning to fall but they're still very high compared to normal. Please take care on towpaths. #oxonflood— @OxfordshireCC 17 February 2014
Flooding remains a risk for homes across Oxfordshire, with the county being placed on medium alert by the Environment Agency.
Seven flood warnings remain in place across the county including for areas around Kennington, Binsey, Osney, Abingdon and Clifton Hampden.
There are also flood alerts - meaning flooding is likely - in areas closer to the city of Oxford, including Wolvercote down to Radley and Jericho.
The Agency said that river levels on the Thames remain very high and are expected to continue rising very slowly tomorrow.
The Met Office has forecast rain for tomorrow and heavier showers later in the week, although rainfall totals are not expected to be high.
Most major roads are open, although the worst-hit roads - such as Dry Lane in Crawley and the High Street in Clifton Hampden - remain closed.
Firefighters have dropped off a large water pump and a 1km hosepipe in Ferry Hinksey Road, Oxford, today.
They used a truck, which was brought in from Lancashire. If the flooding returns, it can be used to pump away seven tonnes – or 7,000 litres – of water.
Darren Hockaway, station manager at Banbury, said it was a precautionary measure to protect the Scottish and Southern Energy substation.
Old Wharf Road, Longcot reopened following flooding. #oxonflood http://t.co/lcM5X1V0MF— @OxfordshireCC 17 February 2014
RT @OxfordshireCC: Environment Agency still has Oxfordshire on an amber "medium" alert for flooding up to & including Wednesday. http://t.c…— @WhiteHorseDC 17 February 2014
We spotted cyclists this morning ignoring warnings about keeping away from the flooded towpaths. The councils are still saying it is dangerous to use the towpaths when flooded.
The level of the Thames down at Osney with the flood barriers in place today
RT @OxfordshireCC: River levels remain high, fast flowing and out of their banks in some places. Please avoid towpaths in such areas. #oxon…— @OxfordCity 17 February 2014
RT @OxfordshireCC: Warnings no longer in force on a couple of stretches of river on the outskirts of Oxon #oxonflood http://t.co/SfEfYfOFlJ— @OxonFireRescue 17 February 2014
More than 4,800 sandbags have been delivered to locations across the county by Oxfordshire County Council.
Sandbag dumps are still at:
- The Duke of Monmouth pub, on Abingdon Road, Oxford.
- PC World, Botley Road, Oxford.
As this picture sent in by Pam shows Bablockhythe is still experiencing some flooding
Current flood warnings are:
- River Thames from Buscot Wick down to Shifford including Buscot, Kelmscott, Radcot, Lower Bampton area and Chimney Area
- River Thames between Newbridge and Kings Lock above Oxford including Northmoor, Stanton Harcourt, Bablock Hythe and caravan park, Eynsham, Swinford and Yarnton
- River Thames and tributaries in the Binsey, Osney and Osney Island areas in Oxford
- River Thames and tributaries at New Botley, New and North Hinksey and Grandpont in Oxford
- River Thames and tributaries at Kennington near Oxford
- River Thames at Culham
- River Thames in Abingdon
- River Thames at Clifton Hampden, Dorchester and Little Wittenham
- River Thames from Days Lock down to South Stoke, including Dorchester-on-Thames and Overy, Shillingford, Benson, Wallingford, North Stoke and Moulsford
- River Windrush at Witney and Ducklington down to and including Hardwick
It's an largely unchanging picture for the Thames from our friends at the Environment Agency. Oxfordshire remains on a medium risk warning of flooding today and tomorrow.
Some good news however for the River Thame, with its two flood warnings removed. The Environment Agency says:
The River Thame is high along its length between Chiselhampton and Drayton St Leonard and at at Dorchester, however levels are now stable. Water may still be flowing into the floodplain in many areas but property flooding is no longer expected.
And the flood alerts for the River Cherwell and its tributaries from Charwelton to just above Upper Heyford including Woodford Halse, Edgcote, Cropredy, Marston St Lawrence, Banbury, Kings Sutton, Hook Norton and for Clanfield Brook for Clanfield Village and the Shill Brook for Bampton have both been lifted.
For those of you looking skywards, the latest Met Office forecast is a dry day until this evening, when light and then heavy rain will come in.
Tomorrow will see rain throughout the day, but Wednesday is looking dry. We're afraid we can't say the same for Thursday - you'll wake up to it and it will be heavy for a large chunk of the day. And Friday will see showers in the morning and around lunchtime, say forecasters.
On the river levels, Oxfordshire County Council is saying they are still rising slowly following the rain at the tail end of last week and Saturday.
A video report from the Press Association about the death of the man on a cruise ship during Friday night's storms:
Here is our round-up on the ongoing flooding situation nationally:
David Cameron has described the flooding that has hit parts of the country as a "tragedy" and warned people to brace for more bad weather this week.
The Prime Minister chaired another meeting of the Government's Cobra emergency committee last night as the huge-clean up operation got under way following some of the worst flooding in decades. Click here to read more...
For you bus passengers, Oxford Bus Company and Stagecoach are having no flood-related problems.
The last we heard from Thames Travel, which was posted yesterday, was:
Route 139 is still experiencing delays due to flooding through the route.
97 services are still diverting via Abingdon, then Drayton, then Milton.
X1 services are still diverting due to flooding at Milton village. This service is diverting via the Sutton Courtenay road.
Marlborough Road in Faringdon is closed and unable to be served.
Not flooding related but two accidents on the road to make you aware of. The B480 Watlington Road near Garsington is blocked following a collision. We have been told it involves a cyclist. Updates on that incident will be posted automatically on our Live Traffic Service.
And the Merton Road in Merton is also blocked following a collision. Similarly updates will be posted automatically on this page of our Live Traffic Service.
There is similar good news for passengers of Chiltern Railways.
A spokesman said: We are planning to run a normal timetable on Monday but will need to pass the area at a reduced speed.
"Network Rail engineers have been working around the clock since Friday to secure the landslip near Leamington Spa.
"We are going to be resuming services on Monday but with an emergency speed restriction through the area. Hopefully, this will add no more than five minutes to your journey.
"As the line has been closed since Friday, some of our trains are not where they should be and we will work through the night to try and return them to their correct location.
"However, it is likely that some of our services may be formed of fewer carriages than normal on Monday and we will send out a Journey Check alert if your normal train is affected.
"Further work will take place on the landslip next weekend and we will confirm any timetable alterations on our website later this week when we have more information."
For those of you going to or coming from northern reaches, CrossCountry are saying the landslip that blocked the line between Banbury and Leamington Spa has been fixed and it is expecting its services to run today.
The current road closures are:
- Lower Street, Islip
- Road from A329 to Drayton St Leonard
- Great Brook Road from Buckland Road to Chimney near Aston
- Spring Lane, Playhatch
- Grove Road, Harwell
- Icknield Road, South Stoke from Grove Road to Woodcote Road
- B4016 between Blewbury and East Hagbourne
- High Street, Clifton Hampden
- B478 Sonning Bridge
- Road through the village of North Weston to Shabbington Rd
- Knightsbridge Lane, Pyrton, near Watlington
- Pembroke Lane, Milton (Vale)
- Old Wharf Road, Longcot
- High Street, Drayton St Leonard
- London Lane, Ascott-under-Wychwood, from railway station to junction with A361
- Godstow Road, Oxford from A34 bridge near Wolvercote to bridge near Wytham
- Dry Lane, Crawley
- Mill Lane, Henley
- Mill Rd, Lower Shiplake from the junction of Mill Rd / Mill Lane to the junction of Mill Rd / New Rd
On the roads for those of you who have been away, Abingdon Road and Botley Road are both open. The Botley Road city-bound bus lane is closed near to McDonald's by the A420 A34 slip road and at the road's junction with Bullstake Close and also its junction with Bridge Street.
Seacourt Park and Ride is also open for you this morning.
Some more information from First Great Western yesterday:
The majority of long distance and London and Thames Valley local services can now run as normal, although there may still be some delays through the affected area.
There will be some changes to services as we return to full capacity. Some local services will not be able to run (we will not be able to operate direct service from Bourne End and Henley to Paddington for instance) while others will have fewer carriages than usual.
Please check JourneyCheck for the latest information before you travel.
Flooding and storm damage continues to affect services in Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.
Ticket Restrictions: To help customers who postponed journeys last week, ticket restrictions remain lifted until Monday (Feb 17).
For passengers who delayed their journey because of the flooding ticket restrictions are lifted for the return leg of a journey. Passengers can also travel with unused tickets purchased up to and including Monday 17 February. These tickets are valid until Friday 21 February.
A First Great Western spokesman said: "Network Rail's engineering and maintenance teams have been working tirelessly to try and solve the problems caused by the flooding at Maidenhead that had crippled the normal signalling system reducing service to just 20 per cent of normal capacity. Through a series of innovative engineering solutions, from start of service on Monday, in excess of 75 per cent of normal services will be running.
"First Great Western is planning to run a near normal service on high speed routes into and out of London on Monday with the exception of the route closures at Dawlish, and between Bridgwater and Taunton. Buses will run on those routes that are closed."
Good morning and welcome to today's blog covering the flooding and other weather-related problems.
First up is the encouraging news for commuters heading to London this morning that First Great Western is confident the majority of its services between the county and the capital are back running properly.
You'll remember of course much of last week saw heavily reduced services because of flooding on the line at Hinksey and a major signalling problem near Maidenhead.