RESIDENTS across Oxfordshire are still counting the cost of damage caused by floods to their homes.

But some of them said money spent protecting their homes has helped limit the impact.

Adrian Porter, 42, who lives in Manor Road, South Hinksey, with his wife Carolyn and their three children, said he decided “enough was enough” after the 2007 floods badly damaged his house.

The family, who moved in to the property in 2004, invested £10,000 into various flood defences including a flood gate.

Mr Porter, who works at RM Computers at Milton Park, said previously, flood damage had been a “nightmare”.

He said: “Listening to the water pouring in to the house at night time was the worst feeling in the world.

“We knew we had moved into an area that was at risk of flooding, but that is supposed to be a one-in-one-hundred year event.”

Mr Porter has now had a series of flood-proofing defences installed at his home.

He explained: “We have a membrane behind the walls which goes up a metre high, and also under the carpets.

“So when water gets into the house, it is channelled between the membranes and into a basin and pumped out.”

Other precautions the family have put in place include a flood gate, to stop water coming through doorways, and four pressure pumps.

He said: “No system is perfect but last week it held back 45cm-deep floods, which is quite good. The only seepage was through the back door.”

While his home remained dry others in South Hinksey flooded. His defences were installed by Henley firm Stonehouse Basements.

Owner Graham Stone, 50, said there are a number of ways to help flood-proof homes at risk.

He said: “The first thing to do is to try to seal-up the structure of the house.

“That starts with getting flood gates, concrete floors, installing airbricks – which can prevent water getting through to timber floors – and sealing areas of the house where piping comes in.”

Claire Wilson, 48, lives with her husband and three-year-old son Rafe in Manor Road.

Their house has flooded several times, but they could not afford the price they were quoted to install waterproof layers in their house.

She said: “We have not gone as far as Adrian because our house has a bigger surface area.

“We were quoted £33,000 when we enquired, and it would probably be higher now.

“But we do have stone floors and skirting boards, as well as a pump and a flood gate and that has made it much better.

“When we were flooded in 2007 we had to move out for six months, but this time things are already almost back to normal.”


FLOOD barriers were taken down in West Oxford yesterday but much of the area remains under water.
The demountable defences, made of metal frames with waterproof plastic sheeting, were put up in Osney Island to protect homes from the rising Thames on January 5, before a week of flooding closed Botley and Abingdon Roads.
Last night flood alerts for Oxford remained in place.
Dave Crook was part of the 20-strong Environment Agency team which spent three hours yesterday morning dismantling the defences before they were removed to the depot on nearby Osney Mead.
He said: “We take river levels all the time, and we haven’t had any major rainfall so we know the river’s not going to come up at any moment.”