Skip to comments.Oxford Floods Deepen As More Rain Is Forecast (UK)
Posted on 07/25/2007 6:54:22 PM PDT by blam
Oxford floods deepen as more rain is forecast
By Richard Edwards
Last Updated: 2:43am BST 26/07/2007
Flooding may have caused greater devastation in affected areas than the foot and mouth crisis, farmers warned last night, as the floods extended throughout the Thames Valley.
Allotments in Oxford.
Oxford became the latest area hit yesterday and parts of the city will be left under water for two days.
There are further fears with forecasters predicting up to half an inch of rain today in some areas already suffering.
The worst floods in modern history have now stretched more than 150 miles along the Severn and Thames from western England towards London.
Farmers in the worst-hit areas of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire said it could take three years to recover from the disaster and said the impact could be worse than that of foot and mouth outbreak of 2001.
David Fursdon, President of the Country Land and Business Association, said: "In affected areas it could be worse than foot and mouth disease as in this situation there's no automatic right to compensation. One farmer has lost 200 acres of arable crops and many are battling to save their livestock."
The National Farmers' Union has drawn up a list in Gloucestershire alone of 20 high-risk farms. Dozens of dairies - which require up to 10,000 litres of water a day - are under threat and farmers are using winter supplies to survive. Entire summer crops have also been wiped out, which are likely to send food prices soaring. Ian Johnston, of the NFU, said: "We are facing a complete catastrophe."
Other developments included:
* The fresh water crisis deepened in Gloucestershire, where it was revealed up to 25,000 people over the age of 80 were without running water. Fears are growing of an impending health problem and MPs criticised Severn Trent Water for failing in their emergency plan.
* Police said people draining water tankers would be treated as thieves and some supermarkets rationed food to prevent panic buying.
* Gordon Brown visited the worst-hit areas of Gloucester again and said the fund for affected councils would rise to £46 million.
* A poll commissioned by The Daily Telegraph revealed that two thirds of respondents believed the Government should have been better prepared or the scale of flooding could have been prevented.
* Six bungalows near Bewdley, Worcs, were evacuated because of a risk of a landslide on the hill behind them.
Oxfordshire became the focus of the continuing flood crisis. Emergency rescues were carried out at 250 homes in west Oxford in the early hours and authorities confirmed 900 homes in the county have now been flooded.
A flooded street in Botley.
Emergency services battled successfully to save the Osney Mead electricity sub-station, which provides power to most of the city.
However, 200 people off Abingdon Road, one of the main routes into the city, had their power supplies cut last night and are not likely to be reconnected until later today.
The developments came despite Hilary Benn, the Environment Secretary, announcing in the Commons on Tuesday that he "anticipated no additional, significant flooding in Oxfordshire".
Dr Evan Harris, the Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, said he was surprised by the error. He said: "Why did the Government and the Environment Agency get that prediction wrong? These floods are not 1 in 40 year occurrences, since this has now happened three years in eight."
Meanwhile, Henley, Reading and Caversham were bracing themselves last night as the water surged on downstream towards London. The Thames in Reading rose several inches yesterday, and was expected to flood riverside homes around midnight. The Environment Agency said the surge would reach Shepperton in Surrey, 25 miles from the capital, within a few days.
Although the risk remains low, further heavy rain is forecast and London will remain on alert.
The crisis worsened in Gloucestershire yesterday, where 350,000 will remain without running water for up to another 12 days. Efforts to distribute water were being hit by crime and profiteering, with some people draining bowsers and selling the water for profit. Police said this would be treated as theft.
Severn Trent Water has stationed almost 1,000 bowsers in the county but admitted its distribution system to the tankers has not worked. Residents have complained that the tankers have not been refilled.
Michael Wood, who lives on the outskirts of Cheltenham, said: "They put the bowsers out on Sunday and they have not been refilled since. About 80 per cent are empty. How are people supposed to survive?"
advertisement Martin Horwood, the Liberal Democrat MP for Cheltenham, also criticised Severn Trent. "The initial delivery of 110 bowsers to Cheltenham represents just one per thousand head of population," he said. "So it's no wonder so many have run dry so quickly."
Dave Wickens, a spokesman for Severn Trent, said they had begun using a new system of smaller tankers to top up the bowsers.
Well, this sucks. Hopefully, it won’t keep raining. Afterwards, I just hope that it’s not too bad. Also hope the global warming folks don’t use this to further support for their irrational Kyoto-type plans.
This is reallty sad. But the problem is in part geological. During the last glacial surge areas around the iced up areas bulged upwards, like what happens when a bowling ball is set on a bed. The ice has been retreating for 12,000 years and areas now ice free are rebounding upwards while those other areas, the bulged-out ares, are slumping. Ancient maps of Europe show islands off the coast of Ireland which no longer exist - these have subsided beneath sea level.
The Rhine and the Thames were once the same river, imagine that.
Don't you know? Global warming is the cause of this massive global cooling!
They're always (in river country anyhow) on otherwise unusable, but fertile, flood plain. That's why they're allotments (garden plots owned by folks who reside elsewhere) and not housing.
Our flood plain here down by the river always floods . . . that's why they call it "flood plain".
Not to say that these floods aren't bad. They're either worse than '47 or worse than '53, not sure which.
If Tony Blair hadn't have followed Bush into Iraq, none of this would have happened.
It's a good thing Blair's gone ... who knows what devastation might have happened by now.
Big Ben might not ever gong again.
God save the Queen
It’s Bush’s fault - damn global warming.
Bet on it.
It is now "Global Climate Change" so they are covered both ways. And pay attention, the focus is about to shift to global cooling.
What is it about school busses and floods? Note to self: Don't buy property anywhere near school busses.
what if you called it climate change?
Again? And, so soon? They're jumping the gun, I'd say.
By my current assessment, we're not due for another "Aaah! The Glaciers are Coming!" episode until AFTER the next Democrat Presidency.
That would sure screw-up the works, wouldn't it!
(since all earth's climate has done from day one is change)
So, floods are attracted to school buses like tornadoes are attracted to trailer parks?
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