Friday, 24 November 2017

Residents ready for flooding as river rises

RESIDENTS of Wargrave could be at risk of flooding after the level of the River Loddon rose

RESIDENTS of Wargrave could be at risk of flooding after the level of the River Loddon rose.

The Environment Agency issued a flood warning for the lower portion of the river, which meets the River Thames in the village, after heavy rainfall over the weekend.

Homes to the south of Twyford would be most at risk but Wargrave, Sonning and Charvil could also be affected if there is flooding.

In 2014, businesses and homes in Wargrave were left underwater after both rivers burst their banks.

A pensioner had to be rescued from his home in Loddon Drive, while Wargrave Boating Club and the offices of Val Wyatt Marine were both flooded following persistent rainfall.

Residents say they are prepared in case of flooding this time.

Kim Potter, chairwoman of Loddon Residents, said: “I’m sure the river will burst its banks but I’m not worrying — I love it!

“Last time I spent three-and-a-half weeks on my verandah not going out. I don’t see it getting anywhere near that this year. We had heavy rain at the weekend and the river will come up but there’s always a delay. Let’s see how it is in a week’s time.

“The test is when I get my waders down from the loft. If you wear wellies it isn’t a flood, that’s only when you get your waders out.”

Christine Hopcroft saw her garden in Loddon Drive under 4ft of water in 2014 and she and her partner Luke left their house for two days and stayed with her daughter-in-law Louisa, who also lives in Wargrave.

Mrs Hopcroft, deputy manager at Peapods Nursery School in Peppard, said: “At the moment the river is just over the bank and into the garden but we are quite hopeful as it’s not constantly raining like it was in 2014. There tends to be a respite day between each shower.

“Nobody is overly worried. Everybody is talking to each other and the camaraderie is always there.

“I’ve moved my garden chairs and tables up a level and anything like ornaments and equipment as well in preparation but it’s only a precaution. We’ve got our fingers crossed it won’t be like it was before but we always have the canoe and waders at the ready!”

Patsy Roynon, who lives in Loddon Drive, said: “We always have preparations in place because we live in a flood plain and if it rains, it floods. That’s part of living here.

“Of course flooding is a possibility. The river is a couple of feet up but it’s yet to reach the garden or road. We’ve been here for nearly 30 years and it’s nothing like as bad as it can get.

“You must make your own precautions so as to minimise the effect. I’m not going to blame anyone else — I choose to live in the flood plain because it’s beautiful. No defences are going to make a difference because the water comes up from beneath.”

Lisa Caddick, who runs Val Wyatt Marine, said a new houseboat had made them “flood-proof” but their tenants, including the Local Larder, could be affected.

Mrs Caddick said: “We took the decision to move our offices to a houseboat and operate from there because of the problems in 2014.

“The rest of the marina is a concern though. The river has risen a lot over the last couple of days. If it creeps up we will have to take action but that’s part of being by the river.”



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