Andrew Smith MP

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Andrew visits residents affected by flooding

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Andrew Smith MP today visited residents who have been affected by flooding. 

Andrew said: "I have been calling round South Oxford this morning with City Council Leader Bob Price talking with residents hit by the flooding.

"There is a serious situation in Western Road and some adjoining streets, where surface water can't get away and is flooding lower level rooms. It is also putting pressure on the sewerage drains, so that contaminated water is coming up in some of the houses and gardens. I have got onto Thames Water and urged them to bring in additional pumping capacity to tackle the situation. A Thames Water tanker is in Western Road, but it can only do one or two house at a time, and more pumping capacity is needed as a matter of priority.

"People are understandably upset and worried. One resident I spoke with said his wife was in tears, couldn't bear to be in the house and they would be selling up and moving later in the year when this is over. It brings home to the very distressing personal impact of this flooding.

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Andrew added: "The barrier by Hinksey Lake and the pumping operation there is so far holding the line, providing protection for the Vicarage Road and Lake Street area. The City Council were delivering additional sandbags. It looked to me to be a finely balanced situation, and we must hope water levels stop rising. I spoke with the Environment Agency people on site there who said a lot will depend on water still coming downstream and how much rainfall there is in the next couple of days.

"Bob Price and I are concerned that some traffic is still trying to get through Abingdon Road, creating bow waves which threaten houses which are otherwise dry, though gardens and surrounds are flooded.

"New Hinksey Primary school closed at lunchtime, and we heard St Ebbe's School was closing (best to check with the school).

"All in all, I think the Environment Agency, Thames Water and City Council staff on the ground are doing a good job, but they are very stretched. We need more pumping capacity. We also need a proper long term solution to the problems in Western Road."

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