During the night and today water levels have continued to rise. The Environment Agency advises that they are likely to continue to rise for the next 24hours. At Bulstake Close during the night water started to significantly pass under and around the barrier and in the early hours Oxford City Council staff had to move to the next stage and in a controlled manner allowed water to cross the Botley Road but guided away from the houses in Bulstake Close and Duke and Earl street.
The situation is now becoming serious and staff are not sure that they can cope with the volume of water and continue to protect the properties. Accordingly a joint operation with the Environment Agency, The County Council, The Fire and Rescue Service and Thames Valley Police commenced at 4pm advising householders of the risk of flooding, sensible precautions, evacuation and rest centre arrangements. This is the advisory note which you should read if you live in that area.
Things to do are:
1. Move any valuable belongings off the ground floor and consider what you will do with your car if it is not in use – please bear in mind that emergency services may need access
2. Make arrangements to vacate your home for at least a few days (can you stay with family / friends?)
3. Check with any insurer, whether the cost of temporary accommodation will be covered – if not, then there is a reception centre, Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre, where the council will assess your requirements and assist you in finding accommodation – transport will be provided for those who need it
4. If you can – block airbricks, protect doorways, put down toilet bungs for ground floor lavatories
5. Switch off your electricity/gas
6. Keep yourself up-to-date with the latest information on the radio, website, facebook / twitter etc.
Agencies are continuing to monitor the situation in the other areas of the city which are vulnerable which is serious but not critical. There is a 24/7 operation from the Emergency Control Centre in St Aldate’s Chambers.
Please also keep an eye on these websites:
The Oxford Mail has a useful blog with updates too.
Emergency phone numbers are:
Police, Ambulance, Fire 999 (emergencies only)
Thames Valley Police 101 (non-emergency)
Oxford City Council out-of-hours 01865 249811
Thames Water 08459 200 800
Southern Electric 08457 444 555
National Grid (if you smell gas, call from a telephone outside your home) 0800 111 999
Oxford Fire & Rescue (non-emergency) 01865 842999