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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 July 2007, 15:44 GMT 16:44 UK
River surge may cause more floods
Banbury bus station
The flood water in Banbury forced the closure of the bus station
There is a serious risk of more floods in Oxfordshire over the next few days, according to the Environment Agency.

"The problem now is the Thames is beginning to rise with rain coming down from the Cotswolds, over two months' rain in one day," said the agency.

Hundreds of people spent Friday night in emergency accommodation and travellers have been left stranded as flooding causes chaos in Oxfordshire.

Trains have been badly affected and people are warned to avoid travelling.

We are expecting to have flooding in Oxford
Peter Quarmby, Environment Agency

Peter Quarmby, south east area manager of the Environment Agency, said: "There's an awful lot of water to come down the Thames.

"We are expecting to have flooding in Oxford, then that will come down-river and we'll be closely monitoring the Thames through Berkshire and on towards London.

"There could be a serious risk of flooding later on Sunday or Monday."

The Environment Agency said 4.6in (118mm) of rain fell at Brize Norton, the highest recorded in the UK. Fire crews have handled over 1,000 calls.

At Bampton in the west of the county more than 300 homes were affected by flooding with 1,200 left without power.

In Charlbury the flood waters badly damaged the bridge into the town.

Bridge in Charlbury
Edward Hofman took this picture of Charlbury bridge

Local resident Edward Hofman told the BBC: "The sheer weight of water appears to have collapsed what used to be a fine old stone bridge and turned it into a dangerous rapid area.

"The road out to Chipping Norton and also the road to Witney are impassable due to flooding, leaving the Woodstock Road the only road out of Charlbury intact."

Passengers were taken off trains at Oxford and Banbury and were forced to sleep at Cherwell School in north Oxford.

John Kelly, Oxfordshire's county emergency planner, told the BBC: "We've ordered 150 sleeping bags from the Army and some of my staff have gone down to the local Tesco to get things like towels, toothpaste and soap.

Finstock Station, Oxfordshire
Reader Libby Butler took this picture in Finstock, Oxfordshire

"This is not the first choice of school, because the one we were going to had actually been flooded itself."

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service said it had been inundated by calls from people caught up in the torrential rain and flooding.

It said it had received more than 1,000 calls in the last 24 hours.

A spokesman said the areas which currently needed urgent attention were Shipton-under-Wychwood, Banbury, Sutton Courtenay and Marcham.

Many events planned for the weekend have been cancelled including the Truckfest Music Festival at Steventon - and people are being warned to check with organisers before they travel.


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