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School shut for three days and sinkhole repairs delayed after Storm Ciara

A school was shut for three days and the repair of a sinkhole has been delayed by ‘several weeks’ following Storm Ciara at the weekend.

Cox Green School, in Highfield Lane, was closed from Monday to Wednesday and only reopened today (Thursday) after strong winds on Sunday damaged the roof of its maths building.

The damage meant that several parts of the building, including the dining area, were flooded and prevented the school from opening.

Cox Green School headteacher Frances Walsh said: “The wind was so strong that it damaged some of the roof, which meant we had some flooding in the classrooms and dining facility, which meant we couldn’t open to feed our students.”

Engineers have been at the school all week repairing the damage, and students were all set work to complete at home.

Flooding in Shoppenhangers Road on Sunday.

Desborough College, in Shoppenhangers Road, also suffered serious flooding over the weekend and was forced to remain shut on Monday.

A school spokeswoman said that some outdoor areas of the grounds were ‘like a swimming pool’.

The school was fully reopened on Tuesday.

The sinkhole near the school in Shoppenhangers Road is now set to take ‘several weeks’ longer to repair, Thames Water has confirmed.

The works, which started on January 7, were expected to take six weeks, but Thames Water has revealed that the sewer has collapsed twice since work began.

It is not yet clear when the work, which will include the installation of 70 metres (230ft) of new sewer pipes, will be completed, but a Thames Water spokesman confirmed it will be ‘several weeks’ longer than first planned.

He added: “We’re sorry for the continued disruption our work is causing.

“It’s vital all the damaged sections of the sewer are replaced now to reduce the likelihood of us having to go back and carry out more work in this location at a later date.

“We have a team of experts working flat out to get everything back to normal as soon as possible.”

Parts of Shoppenhangers Road also suffered serious flooding on Sunday and some residents complained of a smell of sewage.

According to Thames Water, the floods were caused by baby wipes and other ‘unflushable’ items blocking the sewer and putting strain on the pumps. The flows are now under control and the pumps have been upgraded.

A fallen tree at Temple Lock. Photo by Barry Russell.

Across the borough, the strong winds and rain from the storm caused disruption.

A tree was blown over at Hurley Lock, blocking the footpath. Another tree also came down in Furze Platt Road, blocking the road.

A flood alert has been issued for the lower River Loddon where it meets the Thames in Twyford. Flooding is possible today (Thursday) on roads and farmlands.

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