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Last Updated: Monday, 23 July 2007, 13:21 GMT 14:21 UK
Flood fears as river levels rise
Finstock Station, Oxfordshire
Reader Libby Butler took this picture in Finstock, Oxfordshire
Some 3,000 properties have been flooded in Oxfordshire and more than 600 people - mostly elderly care home residents - have been led to safety.

More flooding is expected in the region, with warnings that rivers could burst their banks.

A makeshift centre at the Kassam Stadium has been set to take up to 1,500 people if Oxford floods.

Many primary schools are shut due to the threat of flooding and 12 roads are also closed - including five A-roads.

There is a rest centre in Witney - the main town in Conservative Leader David Cameron's constituency - one at Carterton football club and two in Long Hanborough at the Methodist hall and village hall.

We're waiting to see what happens, if and when the Thames overflows
John Kelly from Oxford County Council

Bridge Street and Mill Street, Witney, remain closed as the emergency services pump water out.

Meanwhile, Standlake, Newbridge and Stanton Harcourt are reportedly under water with homes now being evacuated.

Although, sandbags are in place, "the intensity of the water" is said to be flowing through people's homes, officials said.

The River Windrush is still expected to rise and the River Thames is reportedly now just 183 metres (200 yards) away from Standlake. Residents are thought to be worried they will converge, causing widespread damage.

There are flood warnings along many county rivers, including the Thames.

'Thousands of calls'

People have also been advised to avoid travelling into Oxford at all.

The council, predicting 41 roads are likely to flood in Abingdon, has made sandbags available at the area's local police station and Caldecott School.

John Kelly, Oxford County Council's emergency planning officer, said: "I'm dealing with the evacuees at the moment.

"They're just arriving in our rest centre at the home of Oxford United - the town's [Kassam] stadium in Oxford.

"We have some 50 elderly persons here.

Schools open

"We're planning to evacuate possibly up to some 1,500 people at the last count.

"We're waiting for any evacuation from Abingdon, Oxford and south Oxfordshire and to see what happens, if and when the Thames overflows."

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service has received more than a 1,000 calls during the past 24 hours.

All secondary schools in the county will be open, the county council added.

Meanwhile, Oxford City Council said it was currently dealing with residents who have been affected as well as those at risk of flooding in the Abingdon Road area of Oxford.

"The current roads that are affected are Canning Crescent, Fox Crescent, Peel Place, Chatham Road, Weirs Lane and Marlborough Road," a statement from the local authority read.

The city council delivered 4,000 sandbags to residents on Sunday and was set to target the worst affected areas on Monday.

This year's Oxford in Bloom event has also been postponed - thought to be for the first time in its 22-year history.




SEE ALSO
Your pictures: Oxfordshire flooding
23 Jul 07 |  In Pictures

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