Flood barriers deployed as heavy rain sweeps across Oxfordshire

Storm Henk had already flooded roads and blown-over trees when it hit earlier this week, and the foul weather did not relent on Thursday (January 4).

As an area of cloud travelled across southern England, the Met Office issued a yellow weather warning in the county, lasting until Friday afternoon.

READ MORE: LIVE UPDATES: Flooding wreaks havoc across Oxfordshire

West Oxford felt the brunt of the weather misery as Botley Road and the surrounding roads were left covered in inches of water.

Oxford Mail: Flooding at Swinbrook Cricket Club Flooding at Swinbrook Cricket Club (Image: Sinead Comerford)Bulstake Close, an estate which backs onto Botley Meadow, saw temporary flood barriers installed by Oxford Direct Services (ODS) Group, on behalf of Oxford City Council.

It came as the city council warned that properties in Botley Road and the surrounding area were at risk of flooding.

ODS officers were “closely monitoring the situation” in Oxford throughout the day and were on standby to distribute sandbags in extreme emergencies.

Oxford Mail: The Environment Agency installed temporary flood barriers in South Hinksey to protect 20 homes in the late afternoon.The Environment Agency installed temporary flood barriers in South Hinksey to protect 20 homes in the late afternoon. (Image: Environment Agency)

The Environment Agency installed temporary flood barriers in South Hinksey to protect 20 homes in the late afternoon.

Seacourt Park & Ride off Botley Road was part closed by the city council after heavy flooding left several chained-up bicycles submerged.

Oxford Mail: Seacourt Park & Ride off Botley Road was closed after flooding left bikes submergedSeacourt Park & Ride off Botley Road was closed after flooding left bikes submerged (Image: Martin Landray)

The city council expanded the car park in 2021, with the expansion designed to hold flood water and slowly release it back into nearby watercourses.

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This aims to protect properties in Botley Road from flooding.

Motorists were urged by the authorities not to drive through flood water, with warnings they could become stranded or get swept away.

But other forms of travel were also made difficult by the flooding.

The footpaths near Osney Mead industrial estate – submerged with water and impassable – were closed to pedestrians and cyclists.

Oxford city councillor Emily Kerr made a go of cycling on the flooded towpath between Folly Bridge and Donnington Bridge but admitted to getting “wet feet” and urged others not to use the same route “due to the risks involved”.

To the north of Oxford, flooding underneath the A34 impacted some of Thames Travel’s bus services, which terminated in Wolvercote.

Elsewhere in the county, Rye Farm Car Park in Abingdon was flooded, with drivers told to park elsewhere or risk getting “cut off”.

Oxford Mail: High water levels at Wallingford BridgeHigh water levels at Wallingford Bridge (Image: Steve Kilbey)

In Wallingford, pictures showed high water levels at Wallingford Bridge and two vehicles in a nearby car park partly submerged in water.

Pictures from Swinbrook, a West Oxfordshire village on the River Windrush, showed flooding near to a cottage and the Swan Inn pub.

Oxford Mail: Flooding in SwinbrookFlooding in Swinbrook (Image: Sinead Comerford)

Oxford Mail: Flooding in Swinbrook near The Swan Inn pub Flooding in Swinbrook near The Swan Inn pub (Image: Sinead Comerford)

Sinead Comerford, who lives in Swinbrook, said: “The pub is still open but customers have to use the back entrance instead. The doors around it are all sandbagged.” 

Oxford Mail: Sandbags at the Swan Inn in Swinbrook Sandbags at the Swan Inn in Swinbrook (Image: Sinead Comerford)

Swinbrook Cricket Club has been fully submerged with floodwater.

Oxford Mail: Swinbrook Cricket Club flooded Swinbrook Cricket Club flooded (Image: Sinead Comerford)

This comes as Banbury United announced yesterday that the club’s National League North fixture this weekend is at risk due to the ground being badly flooded.

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