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When flood alerts or warnings are issued - we offer the following advice to residents.
If you believe a person/persons are at risk take immediate action and contact the emergency services (police/fire/ambulance) on 999
Thames Valley Police can be contacted for non-emergencies on 101
Sandbags - exceptional circumstances.
Under normal circumstances Cherwell District Council does not supply sandbags as this is the responsibility of the lead flood agency.
In exceptional circumstances, where unprecedented levels of rainfall are forecast, and there is an immediate risk of flooding (within 2 hours), we can provide a limited supply of sandbags in an emergency.
Upon confirmation of a 'flood risk' from the Environment Agency, a designated collection point will be established. This information will be communicated (via our website, social media sites, parish councils and to the local media). Up to a maximum of ten sandbags per property will be made available for collection, free of charge.
Urgent requests can also be made by contacting the customer services team on 01295 227001.
You should consider measures that you can take in advance to prepare your property for potential flooding. You can buy sandbags from building's merchants, or use growbags, bin liners or plastic bags filled with earth, which can also be effective in keeping water out. Sandbags are not the only form of flood protection equipment.
For sandbags to provide their full benefit, it is vital they are used correctly. The Environment Agency website gives advice on How to build a sandbag wall (388kb) and other ways to keep flood water out of your property.
Disposing of sandbags
Once the risk of flooding has past, it is the responsibility of the property owner or occupier to either retain the sandbags for future use, or to dispose of the used sandbags.
If the sandbags have not been soiled or damaged by floodwater it is recommended that they be kept in a dry area for future use.
If you do not have space to keep the sandbags, the sand may be poured out and dug into the garden. The empty sand bags can then be dried and kept for future use.
Residents are advised to wear gloves when handling used sandbags and to wash their hands afterwards.
Check to see if there are any flood warnings in your area by visiting the Environment Agency website.
Contacts for help and support:
The Environment Agency operates a national Floodline and can be contacted on 0845 988 1188 or 0345 988 1188
Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) is the lead local authority with overall responsibility for flood risk management in the county. All enquiries relating to flooding and flood risk should be reported to OCC direct.
How to contact Oxfordshire County Council
Telephone 0845 310 11 11 (Press Option 1)
8.30am - 5pm Monday - Thursday
8.30am - 4pm Friday
Thames Water can be contacted on 0845 920 0800
Weather forecasts - these can be obtained from the Met Office website Met Office website.
To check the river levels for our area visit: Environment Agency website - river levels on Cherwell, Thames and Wye
To check if your property/premises are in a flood warning area visit: Environment Agency - flood warning summary
Individuals or communities who have suffered flooding, or who are at risk of flooding can contact the National Flood Forum on 01299 403055 for advice
To report road or surface flooding call Oxfordshire County Council's Highways Enquiries Team on 0845 310 1111
To report fallen trees across road call Oxfordshire County Council's Highways Enquiries Team on 0845 310 1111
If you smell gas call the National Grid on 0800 111 999
If you spot a hazard or potential hazard with an overhead transmission power cable call the National Grid on 0800 404 090. For homes or businesses contact your distributor.
If you are flooded contact:
Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue Service Tel. 01865 842999 for non-emergency situations including the pumping of properties
The Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to offer advice on obtaining money in an emergency and dealing with insurance companies (contact your local office)
NHS Direct can offer advice and information if you have health concerns during or after a flood, call 111
Disruption to our services
- [PDF] Preparing for emergencies booklet (1.5Mb)