Floods: Anxious wait for Ham Island residents

Floods: Anxious wait for Ham Island residents

Francis Batt

Floods: Anxious wait for Ham Island residents
Gillie and Jim Wanamaker

Flood warden Gillie Bolton was waiting anxiously this morning to see if her house will become the second on Ham Island in Old Windsor to 'go under'.

Her neighbour's house became the first home on the island to be flooded.

Gillie, who lives on the island with her husband Jim Wanamaker, said that she and her neighbours spent a sleepless night.

She said: "Thames Water sent a tanker at 1am. The man tried to pump the water away but in the end it was too difficult and he had to pull out. He came back this morning.

"My neighbour's house has flooded and it has now reached four inches in our lobby and we fear we will be next.

"Outside peoples' homes the water is 4ft deep in some places and 2ft in others, coming over the top of peoples' boots."

She said the island has seen a big surge in water every time the Jubilee River was opened. The river was constructed to provide flood relief for Maidenhead and surrounding areas - but some have claimed that it disperses water downstream towards Old Windsor and Wraysbury.

Gillie said: "I have been told they won't operate it again for the time being - I don't know if that means it is full."

Gillie and her husband have now complained to the Royal Borough and the Environment Agency about the effect they believe the Jubilee River has on downstream areas. They plan to use the Freedom of Information Act to demand details of operating instructions.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson praised the Jubilee River, calling it a 'brilliant example of long term planning' for flooding, during a visit on Monday.

Meanwhile the A308 Windsor Road linking Old Windsor with Egham via Runnymede was closed to traffic this morning - after a massive lake formed across a large area of it during the previous day.

The Runnymede Hotel cancelled a major conference on Tuesday morning after its car park disappeared under water. Anxious staff are waiting to see if the flood water comes into the prestigious riverside venue which last flooded in 2003.

See pictures of flood-hit Berkshire here

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