Flooding in Oxford is now a common occurrence in winter, rather than just a 'weather event'.

For boaters, flooding presents unique challenges, such as isolation and restricted navigation. Here's a checklist to help you prepare for winter flooding:

Flood preparation checklist for boaters

  • check ropes - Allow slack for water level changes
  • mooring location - Consider access if the towpath floods. Check the bank to prevent your boat from listing
  • water flow - Understand how it affects your mooring. Could it disrupt your boat or nearby moorings?
  • warnings - Stay updated with the Environment Agency and Canal and Rivers Trust
  • bilge - Ensure bilge pumps work and consider an automatic float switch for protection when you're not present
  • avoid cruising in strong conditions - Secure your boat and adjust mooring ropes as water levels change
  • if in difficulty and unable to leave your boat, call 999 for the Fire & Rescue Service

Flooded towpaths checklist

  • route check - Look for closures before travelling
  • avoid flooded towpaths - Find an alternate route
  • visibility - Don't walk, run, or cycle where you can't see the bottom. Hidden hazards may be deeper than expected
  • fast-flowing water - Even ankle-deep water can be dangerous. Beware of rapid depth increases in high-risk areas
  • if your dog enters the water - Don't go in after them. Call them from a safe spot on the bank
  • post-flood towpath conditions - Be cautious as flood water may loosen surfaces

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