Saturday, 21 July 2007

It’s raining, it’s pouring, the old mans snoring.

1 Lock, ½ Mile, Now moored above Osney lock.
547 locks, 677 miles, 18 Tunnels, 37 swing bridges and 10 lift bridges since Nov 2006

The weatherman has got it right this time because it has been raining since about 11pm last night. When we arose this morning we could see that the river had already risen quite a lot. After breakfast I donned my wet weather gear and went for a walk to check out mooring availability above the lock. There were several slots available with 3 boats about to depart leaving plenty of space. One of these boats was a hire boat who wanted to go through the lock, wind below the lock and come straight back up. He was a bit concerned about casting off because of a yacht, minus mast, moored in front of him. So being the good Samaritan I gave him a hand and then went back to Gypsy Rover to await his arrival through the lock.
Two cabin cruisers had gone through the lock earlier but one of them broke down in the lock. They managed to restart it albeit coughing and spluttering and he coughed his way down to the railway bridge where he hoped to fix the problem.
We eventually got up through the lock but mooring up against the fast flowing river was tricky as we had to come into the mooring under power avoiding the moored yacht.
We are now comfortably moored listening to the local radio station reporting on the devastation going on around Oxfordshire with thunder storms, flooding, school closures and a forecast of up to 100mm/4inches of rain before the storm abates. Storm water drains are not coping with manhole covers being lifted by the pressure of the water.
1600hrs and we have just heard that the Oxford canal has been closed between Napton Junction and Banbury with the towpath being over 2 foot under water. The radio has been non stop with problems arising all over the area. Now First Great Western trains are reporting problems with all trains in or out of Paddington and are taking passengers to hotels to make them comfortable until the situation improves. Stations all over the system are being closed due to flooding.
It has been the highest rainfall in one day for forty years and the emergency services are stretched to the limit.
From our mooring we have been able to watch the level of the river rise and fall as more water arrives from further up river and the EA lock keepers open more sluices to get it away. I am picking that yellow boards or even red boards have now gone up as the water is racing past the boat at a head spinning rate. Hopefully the situation will improve over the next 72 hours and we can get away from here.

1 comment:

Khayamanzi said...

A valuable source of info. thanks!I'm planning on leaving tomorrow for the Thames at Oxford and then onto the K & A but it looks like it might be fun!! I'll keep checking your blog to see what the latest news is.
Andy on NB Khayamanzi