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More flooding as rivers swell after week of rain

It has been raining almost continuously over most of the country for almost a week. Rainfall amounts in Radley have been high, but not exceptionally so. However this rain has been falling on already sodden ground after one of the wettest summers on record. The situation further west, in the Thames catchment, has been much worse, with days of persistent and often very heavy rain. As a result, the Thames has risen to levels comparable to those seen in July 2007 and has again caused flooding of land and property and disrupted transport in and around Oxford.

The upstream level at Abingdon Lock, which reflects the river levels along the Radley stretch, reached its peak at around midnight on the 27th, achieving a record level of 0.54m above the site datum (ASD) which, if confirmed, would be 3cm above the previous record  and 5cm above the peak level in July 2007. However, due to the weir, levels downstream attained, but did not exceed, 2007 levels.
Swollen river levels have again caused flooding of the Abingdon Road in Oxford, which has remained closed to traffic since Tuesday morning, and deployment of flood barriers has closed the Kennington Road. Other road closures include the bridge at Culham. The railways have not been immune either with delays being caused by flooded track and signal disruption.
River levels are now subsiding and the weather forecast, for the next few days at least, is rain- free, so the worst seems to be over, for now.


Photograph by Jon Tooke

Good weather for ducks! Here is a pair enjoying a new found freedom to explore flooded meadows in Lower Radley. (26 November 2012)
Update 29 Nov 2012
The flood barriers at Kennington have been lifted, but the Abingdon Road in Oxford and Sutton Bridge at Culham remain closed.
Update 30 Nov 2012
Sutton Bridge at Culham has now reopened. The Abingdon Road in Oxford has reopened for southbound traffic only.
Update 01 Dec 2012
The Abingdon Road in Oxford has now reopened in both directions.

Related Links

Environment Agency – River Levels for Vale of White Horse (River Ock)

Environment Agency – River Levels for Cherwell, Thame and Wye (River Thames)

Oxfordshire County Council – Latest information

BBC Oxford Travel News

The Floods in 2007: Pictures and reports

Abingdon Floods, Past, Present and Actual

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