Peppard woman 'at end of tether' as floodwaters return

1 week ago 18
Media caption,

Victoria Cooper has to barricade her house with sandbags in times of heavy rainfall

A woman who has experienced flooding 12 times in the last six months says she is at the end of her tether.

Victoria Cooper, 45, from Rotherfield Peppard, near Henley-On-Thames, Oxfordshire, regularly has to barricade her house with sandbags in times of heavy rainfall.

"It keeps happening and no-one is doing anything," she told the BBC.

Oxfordshire County Council said it had "sympathy" with her situation and its teams were "working on a solution".

Ms Cooper, and her elderly neighbour, are affected when the five drains in the road outside their properties in Church Lane fill with rainwater.

She said within six minutes water flows down their driveways, into her neighbour's garage, and under her own gate into her back garden.

"When people drive past the water just creates a tidal wave and it flushes down our driveways," Ms Cooper said.

"Last year I drove my Discovery and blocked the road and I got in so much trouble with my neighbours because I just had enough.

"We both go to bed, we can hear the heavy rainfall, and we just think 'What are we going to wake up to tomorrow morning?'"

Image source, Victoria Cooper

Image caption,

Victoria Cooper said despite the arrival of a gully tanker the situation at the site remained the same the next morning

There has been about 43mm of rain in the area in recent days.

Ms Cooper described the water as "contaminated", and said it left debris in its wake.

She estimates it has happened more than 50 times in the last 10 years.

She said: "I am at the end of my tether. I've got a very busy life… times are hard and I need to work extra hard. I don't need this extra added inconvenience.

"We have tried to repair our driveway where we could a few times. I'm not doing it anymore. It causes damage to my garden, and I take pride in my garden."

Image caption,

Ms Cooper says her "blood is boiling" that she is still facing the "same old, same old" problem

She added: "I'm not considering selling my house because I don't see why I should have to.

"I don't live near a river. I didn't buy a house near the river.

"I didn't expect the drains to fill up like they do and not to be maintained by the council."

In a statement, the council said: "There is an ongoing drainage issue in this location of which we are aware.

"In terms of response, we did send a gully tanker to the location following her call last night and we arranged for more sandbags to be delivered this morning.

"So to say there has been no action isn't true."

However, Ms Cooper said the situation at the site "was exactly the same" as the previous night, despite the arrival of the tanker.

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