Tuesday, 27 November 2012

High tide

We have been keeping a close eye on the weather and the water for the last 24 hours.  On the local news on TV at lunchtime yesterday, there were shots of sand bags being stacked and water being pumped out somewhere in Oxford. That looks familiar we thought.....Oh no!  That's just a few streets away, where we rent a garage - not to park the car but for overflow domestic storage (having lost space when the loft was converted).  

Most of the things we store in the garage are only needed occasionally, like spare picture frames, wrapping material, and a card stand used when we have exhibitions.  Some of it is there because we don't need it, but it might be useful one day, like lego, toys and a bike from when the children were little.  Some of it....well I wonder why we have kept it at all (things that fall into the "bits of string too small to use" category!)  

However, we are using the garage to store an almost new, rather expensive mattress belonging to daughter Katie until she moves into her new flat. Can't let that get wet! Boots on and out of the door quickly. 

Luckily, the pumps were doing their work, the garage was still dry and we managed to lift the mattress up on to two empty boxes, so that it was about a foot off the ground. Hopefully enough to keep it dry if the water does get in....

....The flood waters continued to rise through the rest of the day.  By teatime yesterday, the water had risen to 56.8 on flood gauge at the end of the street.  By bedtime, only the red number 57 at the top was visible.  This morning, the post is fully submerged, and the there is hardly any space between the underside of the footbridge and the water level of the stream/park that is now a lake.  

This picture was taken on Sunday.
Today, the flood marker is submerged, with water lapping over the top of the pole!

The main road into Oxford from the south is closed due to flooding, as parts of the ring road. The flood defenses have gone up around Osney Island.  Trains are still running, but only at 5 mph because the tracks are only 35 mm above water level.  Fire and Rescue are pumping out a flat development not far from us. The homes are OK, but the car park is underwater and residents are marooned.  

We revisited the garage and it is clear from the tidemark on boxes that water gas got in overnight, but most of it has drained away now. The mattress survived and has been raised again on yet another set of boxes.  Hopefully that will keep it high and dry if the tide continues to rise...

The big debate we are having now is to sand bag or not to sand bag?  I would rather play it safe and get prepared now. Steve would rather wait for the time being.  Hey ho!  At least it's taken our minds off mesothelioma and chemotherapy for a change :-)  

All rather dramatic!  I will add some pictures later...


  1. well it's certainly an exciting time, hope the mattress is still dry. ray is having a bad time at the moment, with general pain, depression and lethargy, which we think (hope) is him fighting off a virus. I know it's a terrible thing to wish but I almost there was a slight risk where we are, just to take his mind off this terrible disease.
    wishing you both well and keep the wellies close at hand

    1. Having caught up with your blog Amanda, it sounds like Ray has been fighting an infection and it has left him exhausted/wiped out. I hope very much that things pick up over the next few days - a bit of sunshine might help!

      When fighting mesothelioma, everything else pales into insignificance. Its easy to forget that you are still vulnerable to other illnesses - how unfair is that? If Ray still feels bad in a few day's time, try to persuade him to see a doctor or at least talk to his Macmillan nurse. He may just need some antibiotics or some steroids to help him fight back.

      Mind you take care of yourself too!

      Flood levels appear to have stabilized here so, although we are still surrounded by water, all being well it will start to recede over the next few days and we will be able to get out in the car and replenish food supplies :-)