The flooding endured by Cowley residents from a burst water main has been a disaster for the residents in Normandy Crescent first and foremost.

But it also must be viewed as disastrous for Thames Water.

The community spirit and calm resolution shown by victims of major flooding in South and West Oxford in recent years can in part be put down to acceptance of the reality that when it comes to Father Thames and its streams, nothing can very easily be put right: it will take tens of millions and years of planning.

But in the case of the 50 properties affected — in some cases water was up to the waist — there is a feeling that this level of flooding was entirely avoidable. For this is a replay of the misery endured in 2007, when a 24-in pipe burst, resulted in 40 Normandy Crescent residents having to move into temporary accommodation.

Thames Water declined to answer questions put by our reporters earlier in the week: the most important being how was this allowed to happen a second time and what is being done to ensure that it does not happen again? Water levels may begin to drop but these questions are not going to go away.