Filed under: flood

River Ock after recent rainfall

River Ock high following recent rainfall
The latest Environment Agency update on the River Ock says “Property flooding is not currently expected. River levels remain high but continue to fall on the River Ock and Letcombe Brook following recent rainfall. Therefore, the risk of flooding is currently reducing. From this evening (18/12/19), through tomorrow 19/12/19, Friday 20/12/19 and the weekend, we are expecting heavy, persistent showers across the area. We therefore expect river levels to rise further over the coming days and into the early part of next week. We are closely monitoring the situation. Our incident response staff are operating weirs to reduce flood risk and are in the area clearing weed/trash screens.”
River Ock high following recent rainfall
Tesco cannot be reached along the Ock Path from Mill Road.
River Ock high following recent rainfall
Nor can Tesco be reached on the path from Chaunterell Way.
River Ock high following recent rainfall
There was an Environment Agency van parked near Tesco monitoring the situation.

There is normally a height difference at this River Ock weir, where the river is divided into two streams, but today there was no waterfall.

4 Comments December 18, 2019

High Water in Abingdon

Abingdon River levels High
The water level of the River Ock in Abingdon has been high over the last couple of days and looks to be going down.
Abingdon River levels High
A rubbish bin is surrounded by water in the Abbey Meadow as the water level of the River Thames gets higher with the Abingdon Weir gates wide open.
Abingdon River levels High
There have been pictures on this blog of boats that have come to grief during floods. There are three narrow boats moored between Abingdon Lock and Abingdon Bridge. Two have long ropes.
Abingdon River levels High
The third is moored next to the lock entrance.
Abingdon River levels High
On Saturday the water had risen over the banks in various places over this stretch of Rye Farm Meadow.
Abingdon River levels High
By Sunday the Thames Path at Rye Farm Meadow was only passable with extreme care.

10 Comments November 17, 2019

Planning for Natural Flood Defences on the River Ock

Natural Flood Defences
The Vale of White Horse District Council agreed last week to put £68,075 towards Natural Flood Management upstream on the River Ock.

Natural Flood Management aims is to hold back flood water so that important settlements, like Abingdon, do not get it all at once. The Environment Agency will be able to use the money to employ a project manager to work with land owners along the River Ock catchment. They will identify natural ways to slow down the flow of flood water after a big downpour. This could involve tree planting so the ground can absorb more water, or allowing the river to meander naturally so the water has further to travel.

Presumably this is just the first payment. Once measures have been identified, more money will be needed.

The picture shows the River Ock flowing through Abingdon earlier today.

3 Comments August 9, 2019

Abingdon Floods in The House of Commons

Debate on Abingdon Floods
Congratulations to Layla Moran, our local MP, for securing a debate in the House of Commons last Thursday on the decision to mothball the River Ock flood storage scheme.

In 2007 more than 400 homes were flooded by the River Ock. The proposed flood storage scheme would have been funded by a partnership of the Vale of White Horse District Council, Oxfordshire County Council and the Thames regional flood and coastal committee.
Debate on Abingdon Floods
Layla Moran (Oxford West and Abingdon) (LD) said “…The Environment Agency initially estimated that the scheme would cost £5 million, but realised more recently that the true cost was closer to double that ….”

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Dr Thérèse Coffey), replied “The original cost of about £5.2 million was the starting point, but the agency then undertook additional modelling and ground investigations, which allowed it to produce the more detailed outline designs for the flood storage area. The cost increasing to £10 million is due not to one specific issue, but rather to a number of activities. For example, the reservoir needs to be compliant with the Reservoirs Act 1975 due to its size, resulting in the need for additional safety measures such as safe access routes for operational staff and maintenance vehicles. After appraisal, the cost has been estimated at about £10 million”

Dr Thérèse Coffey went on to say

“Unfortunately, it was found that this proposal had a negative cost-benefit ratio and so was not eligible for any support at all from the £2.6 billion of central Government funding that has been made available over six years.

The cost-benefit ratio works out the cost of a scheme against its benefit (how much damage it will prevent financially during a given time scale).

The next step to prevent further Abingdon Floods on the scale of 2007 must be to look for ways of making the scheme cheaper (whether redesign or challenging it is a reservoir), or see if the partnership can find more money.
Debate on Abingdon Floods
The full debate can be read at It also can be watched on

14 Comments May 20, 2019

Flooding five years ago and Thames at War

Flooding five years ago
Spike sent me this picture of Abingdon – five years ago, showing the River Thames having burst its banks. Thankyou to him.

There is a bigger version (here …)

Last time the River Thames broke its banks was in April 2018. The Thames at War event at the Lock was postponed as a consequence. I read in the Oxford Mail that the event will be held instead on April 14th, 2019.
Flooding five years ago
The WWII Pillbox is between Marcham and Abingdon.

2 Comments January 12, 2019

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