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.’