Fears of flooding ease after warnings are lifted

Fears of flooding ease after warnings are lifted

Francis Batt

Fears of flooding ease after warnings are lifted
Windsor towpath under water

Fears that the disastrous flooding which hit Wraysbury 10 years ago was about to be repeated have finally eased today.

Food warnings covering the village and nearby Old Windsor were lifted at 10.30am.

Villagers had had a nervous holiday break as the 10th anniversary of the January, 2003 floods approached and the Thames rose threateningly.

Royal Borough councillor John Lenton (Conservative, Horton and Wraysbury) said: "When the Thames reaches 50 inches above normal then we can expect to be flooded. We reached 47 inches over Thursday night and Friday morning."

But a drier weekend saw the river drop to 39 inches above normal by Monday.

Cllr Lenton said that one or two people had to be evacuated from the Island on Hythe End as a safety precaution, while Royal Borough council staff gave up their holiday to be on standby over the holiday period - keeping a special watch on vulnerable people with mobility problems.

Flood warden Gillie Bolton lives on Ham Island in Old Windsor. She said: "It was quite worrying. But the main difference between 2003 and now is that you can follow the progress of the river online, so at least you know what is happening."

She said that some homes on the island had suffered problems with sewage but praised the response of Thames Water, saying: "Staff were out until 3am Sunday morning sorting it out. They sent tankers to empty out the sewers affected by rising water."

Residents in Old Windsor also had a nervous weekend as the fields adjoining Runnymede and the towpath adjoining Straight Road disappeared under water.

In Windsor itself the towpath leading around Windsor and Eton Bridge was also covered by water.

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