Christmas, New Year and February floods in Winnersh
Winnersh has taken a real battering over the Christmas and New Year period – the result of persistent heavy rain. I have lived in the area since 1997 and although the floods of 2000 and 2007 caused problems for many, the damage done this time around is significantly worse!
The Reading Road this evening was rather eery – almost like a ghost town. From Sainsbury’s at the Winnersh crossroads, the road was closed, all the way down to the Showcase Cinema. With the cinema roundabout and Lower Earley Way completed flooded, it was hardly surprising. After passing Halfords and Wickes, drivers had nowhere to go. Of course, there were on or two drivers who chose it ignore the signs and cones in the road, instead driving around them or moving them out of the way. The Police, waiting in their van, were quick to deal with them!
The Winnersh Garden Centre was flooded right through, as was the George pub opposite. The cinema car park was almost completely full of water, with only a handful of cars parked on higher ground. Despite the awful conditions, some people were still keen to catch a film. In order to get from their cars to the cinema, visitors had to wade through water.
The weather is hopefully going to improve over the coming days! Despite the dry weather on the way, it’s likely to be a very long time before the no doubt millions of gallons of water disappear.
Update 09/02/14: So, the weather didn’t really improve, and the same conditions that I spoke about previously have returned this week. The Showcase roundabout has closed again, the garden centre is flooded again, the Shinfield Road has closed again and the recent weather even resulted in the temporary closure of the cinema itself.
At home, the small river that our home sits on has broken its banks several times, though luckily for us, it recedes reasonably quickly once the rain has stopped. But each time that it has receded, it has started to rain again (sometimes heavily) and it quickly spills over, into the road and then up the drive way. You can’t help but glue yourself to the window, watching as the water creeps closer to your home. We marked the flood water with tea cups and would monitor it every 30 minutes or so, seeing where the water was in relation to the cups.
I was unfortunately caught out by the water. Having stayed away for most of Thursday night, I decided at around 3.00am in the morning that the water didn’t post too much of a threat so I went for some sleep. Just two hours later, it had moved closer to the house, trapping my car on the drive. With it being a smaller car, I wasn’t prepared to drive it out of the street through deep water. With Friday offering some respite from the awful weather, the water did recede, allowing me to get my car out of the street by the middle of the afternoon.
On Friday evening, with more bad weather in the forecast, I didn’t take any chances. Like everybody else in the street, my car was parked elsewhere. The “worst storm in 25 years” (as the Daily Express put it) didn’t really do very much though. The river did again break its banks but it didn’t even come close to the road.