Oxford floods: Clean-up as water recedes

Aerial shot of flooded fields in Oxfordshire PHOTO: James Holley
Image caption Experts predict the cost of the flooding could run into tens of millions of pounds

Residents across Oxfordshire have begun to clear up after days of flooding.

Parts of Oxford, including Abingdon Road, remain closed on Thursday evening, although Seacourt Park and Ride partially reopened.

A number of flood warnings remain in place for the River Thames, including parts of Oxford.

Flooding in the city was continuing to cause disruption on the rail network on Thursday evening with cancellations to some services from Paddington.

Mill Street in Islip has now reopened while the food barrier in Kennington has been removed and the road also reopened.

In Henley, BBC reporter Patrick O'Hagan said river levels had remained more or less unchanged overnight to Thursday morning.

5,000 sandbags

He said most of the flooding had happened on the south side of the River Thames, away from most buildings.

Oxfordshire County Council's deputy leader Rodney Rose said although this emergency was coming to an end, the authority would not be collecting its stock of sandbags until it was sure the flood risk had reduced further.

He said the flooding had caused damage to roads in the county which would be fully assessed once all the flood water had receded.

Sue Staunton, business adviser at James Cowper accountants in Oxford, estimates the cost of the flooding in Oxfordshire alone could run in to "tens of millions of pounds", based on the experience of the 2007 floods.

She said the costs ranged from property damage to lost days at work and people not being able to visit shops and businesses in flooded areas.

The Environment Agency has relocated its command centre from Botley to the Redbridge Park and Ride where there is less water.

It currently has a number of flood warnings for the South.

Oxfordshire County Council has given out more than 5,000 sandbags and said 15 homes had flooded in Oxfordshire over the past few days.

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