Oxford flooding: Aldens remains open for customers

Matthew Alden, with Aldens butchers in Oxford, took to social media posting a video of himself paddleboarding advising customers they may have to take a canoe, paddle boat or wear their wellies to get to the premises. He has chosen to remain open despite being affected by flooding.

He said: “I do like water sports so I thought let’s just have a go.

“I wanted to create a fun video but one with a serious underlying message that we continue to appreciate ongoing custom and that local authorities need to take greater action to help in extreme situations like this.”

Oxford Mail: Matthew Alden paddleboarding through the Osney Mead estate, currently submerged by floodwater, Matthew Alden advises customers that Aldens remains open via a video shot on a paddleboard navigating through floodwater

He said he estimates flood water that has spread over the estate to be “11 inches deep in places” and issued concern that he hasn’t seen such severe flooding on the estate since national flooding which occurred in July 2007.

Mr Alden said: “It’s currently almost impossible for traffic to get onto the estate.

“Flooding hasn’t affected us like this since 2015 and 2017. In 2017, authorities used pumps which resolved the problem in a day.

“Our retail trade has suffered hugely in the last few days and will do throughout the weekend. We run a catering business serving the wider city area and our driver can barely get out of the estate.

“Everything is saturated and there’s nowhere for the floodwater to go. It’s going to remain like this until Monday at least.

“There’s a pump in use at the end of the estate but I’m not sure how much difference it’s making.

“A few customers have been able to reach us using bigger vehicles with higher bodies. We’re still accessible on foot via Osney Lock but understandably we’re not expecting huge numbers today and tomorrow.”

Mr Alden said he would like to see greater intervention and flood relief from local authorities, particularly for business owners (on the estate) who have been impacted by flooding. He plans to submit a case for financial relief to the county council.

He added: “There should be an assessment on rivers and streams around the city with more pump usage at the other end of the estate onto natural flood plains instead of here.

“It’s also unfair that landlords continue to increase rent without consideration for situations like this.”

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