Category Archives: flood

Flooding in Abingdon and the EA’s withdrawn plans to protect you

Good news for walkers in Abingdon! The Ock Valley Walk is dry enough to explore today (except maybe around Tesco).

The water looks calmer at St Helen’s Wharf. This morning, you could see a clear space between the water and the bridge’s iron arch.

At high tide on Saturday, part of the word ‘Bristol’, and houses in Abingdon were underwater.

The Abingdon Herald had a front-page article, on Wednesday, about the call for action by the environment agency (EA) on improving the town’s flood defences. Regarding this, I have two pieces on information in my inbox. Two schemes were being explored: a flood storage area west of the A34, and temporary flood barriers. An email from the EA from December 2018 said, ‘Since our last newsletter we have been continuing to develop the design for a flood storage area. Based on our more detailed design information we now know the cost of the flood storage area to be much greater than our earlier estimate. To justify continuing work to develop plans for a flood storage area our partnership would need to secure a large amount of additional funding from other partners and businesses. The partnership do not think we will realistically be able to find the required funding. This means that we are not able to continue developing plans for the flood storage area at this time.’ Partners included local councils and businesses.

They said,‘We are continuing our work to investigate options for Natural Flood Management which could help to reduce flooding in Abingdon. We have also identified where Temporary Flood Barriers could help reduce the impact of flooding for specific areas in Abingdon.’

There was a more recent update from the EA to the Tithe Farm and Ladygrove Newsletter in August 2023. It said, ‘We reviewed this plan following problems experienced with barriers in the Midlands. The result of the review was that we would be unable to erect it in time to prevent flooding. As a consequence, we withdrew the plan. This means that there won’t be any permanent structures or temporary barriers to protect you from the River Ock.’

Flood Waters Begin to Recede

This picture shows Rye Farm Carpark at sunrise today, where one car is stranded.

The water level at the Tesco Carpark was receding with the setting sun, but half of the area was underwater.

Water levels are going down in the rivers and surrounding fields. Abingdon’s roads are clear of flood water, but St Helen’s Wharf remains closed, waiting somebody official to remove the barriers.

The Margaret Brown Gardens also remained closed. The Geese were settling down this evening without passers-by to disturb them.

The road to recovery will be more challenging for residents whose homes were hit by the flooding. Stuck vehicles and waterlogged boats pose difficulties for others.

High Tide in Abingdon

River Ock

The River Ock continued to rise overnight and peaked at 6:30 am, by which time Chaunterell Way was flooded. Neighbours helped each other to move things upstairs. The fire service was in attendance during the night.

When I looked in soon after 8 am, I spoke to Tom Greenaway, a town councillor for the ward. He had spoken to the owner of one property that had flooded and there were probably others. He said the County Council sent and distributed two flatback lorries with sandbags. A private company were delivering further sandbags while I was there,

There were also signs of near flooding from the River Ock at Meadowside where some of the fire fighters live. I did hear they were also sent to Abingdon Road in Oxford which is badly flooded.

The Ock Valley Walk is closed by flood water.

Water from Mill Stream Court had flooded Caldecott Road even more overnight. The Iron Bridge and St Helens Wharf was closed to traffic.

River Thames

The Margaret Brown Gardens were partly underwater and were closed during the morning. I can’t remember the River Thames covering so much of this small park.

There was flooding from drains along Wilsham Road, Townsend, Baker Road, and the bottom of Preston Road.

Geese and swans seemed reduced to eating grass where they could find it with so much grass underwater.

Thames Street had road flooding.

The view from Abingdon Bridge showed only a small triangle of land surrounded by water.

Large areas of the Abbey Meadows were underwater. The run off from the Mill Stream, near the weir, means that people can no longer access Abingdon Lock.

Thanks to Valonia for this final picture, from yesterday, of Rob, the morris dancer, setting out for supplies from Abingdon Marina where they live.  The Abingdon Marina carpark was fully underwater and the water was getting as close to the electricity supply as Valonia has seen it. The electricity might be off by now.

Danger of Flooding in Abingdon

Heavy rain from about 4 pm to midnight last night (Thursday) has led to the danger of flooding.

River Ock

This evening (Fri 5 Jan), a flood warning was issued at 9:30 pm, meaning property flooding is possible near the River Ock. I took this picture at about 3 pm at the gate to Chaunterell Way Park, and by 9:30 pm, the water was past the gate, and a group of anxious people were watching. The water would then flow into Chaunterell Way. The River Ock indicator shows the water level is still rising as I type this at 11 pm

Near the town centre, water from the River Ock is spilling out from Mill Stream Court and flooding Caldecott Road near the iron bridge.

The new flood wall has not totally protected St Helen’s Mill.

Tesco closed at around 3:45 pm because all access roads and the carparks were flooded. Staff were going home.

The new Premier Inn continues to operate. They have opened a gate directly onto Marcham Road to let customers in and out, as the Tesco access is flooded.

River Stert and Radley Brook in North Abingdon

Last night (Thursday/Friday) there was road flooding in North Abingdon with people anxiously watching water levels. Farm Road was still partly underwater on Friday morning (near the River Stert). Chilton Close, and Appleford Drive, were affected by the Radley Brook.

Some suspicion is being pointed at the new developments in North Abingdon near those watercourses.

There are a series of flood holding places in North Abingdon, new and old. The old one at Tilsley Park is full. I have not heard of any reports of properties flooding in North Abingdon.

River Thames

The River Thames is higher than yesterday but its flood plain is huge. Water was washing onto the road at St Helen’s Wharf. There is also road flooding at the junction of Preston Road and Wilsham Road, and along the Wilsham Road from the River Thames (possibly through the drains?).

The River Ock joins the River Thames at the Iron Bridge. Water here is high from both directions. This may be causing some backing up of water.