Risk of winter flooding rises

Flood fairs are being held across the south for people to learn how to protect their homes. Authorities warn we face flooding this winter due to a record breaking wet summer.

Flood alert in Oxfordshire

A Flood Alert has been issued by the Environment Agency for the River Thames and tributaries from Buscot Wick down to Kings Lock in Oxfordshire. It will particularly affect Buscot, Kelmscott, Radcot, Chimney, Northmoor, Stanton Harcourt, Bablock Hythe and caravan park, Eynsham, Swinford and Yarnton.

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Fire crews battle flood waters

Firefighters fought to save homes and businesses as flooding hit the region. Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service received 80 calls yesterday relating to flooding and attended nearly 30 incidents, pumping water from homes and businesses, and assisting with redirecting floodwater away from properties.

The Environment Agency have released the following advice about floodwater:

  • Six inches of fast flowing water can knock you over.
  • Two feet of water will float your car.
  • Flooding can cause manhole covers to come off, leaving hidden dangers.
  • Don’t walk or drive through flood water.
  • Don’t let children play in flood water.
  • Don’t walk on riverbanks when there is flooding.
  • When water levels are high, be aware that bridges may be dangerous to walk or drive over.
  • Culverts are dangerous when flooded.
  • Look out for other hazards such as fallen power lines and trees.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly if you touch floodwater.

Flood alerts after heavy rain

Large parts of the south remain on flood alert after torrential rain over the weekend. Heavy rain caused flash flooding in some places, with Dorset and Wiltshire among the worst affected. Bournemouth received the most rainfall in the UK, with 30mm falling in just 24 hours from 5pm on Saturday.

The Dorset town usually receives 100mm of rain on average for the whole of November. Julian Mayes, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, said: "It's not exceptional rainfall, but the last two weeks have been fairly wet and it's falling onto saturated ground which means the effect is more immediate."