RESIDENTS in the Abingdon Road area of Oxford were preparing for the worst last night after what many said was the worst flooding there they had ever seen.

With several properties flooded – some with water rising up from the floorboards – many other people were fearing their homes would be next. The city council was warning them last night to be prepared for flooding over the next 24 hours.

The water was continuing to rise in the area yesterday, with no sign of when the normally busy main road into Oxford might reopen.

Louise Calder, who lives in Oswestry Road, was trying to catch the fish which had escaped from her pond and were now swimming in her garden – and beyond.

Dr Calder said: “The water is very deep in the back garden – an inch more and it will be in the house.”

Northampton Road resident Betty Father, 81, has lived in the same house for 76 years.

She said: “This is the worst I have ever seen it down here. It is worse than it was in 1947.”

Julie Webb, who has lived in Chatham Road for 22 years,said the water was waist-deep in her garden.

She said: “It has been rising overnight. It’s just by my back door now.

“An inch or two more and it will be in the house. We’ve had floods before, but it has never been this bad.”

Houses in Vicarage Lane were having water pumped out from under their floorboards. John and Rachel Cecil in School Lane, praised the work of the authorities to stem the flood.

Mrs Cecil, 72, said: “It has been better down here for us but we have nothing but praise for them working round the clock.”


Banbury Cake:

Postman Mike Nottage, above, was spotted wading through flood waters to deliver the mail around South Oxford yesterday.

He said: “I've been a postman for 25 years and have never seen it this bad.

“There aren’t many posties working in the area today and we had the choice. I wanted to do it.”

An Oxford Mail reader also reported their milkman had not been deterred by the floods.

Meanwhile, ponies Baz and Stumpy were having to be moved to higher ground after their livery stables field off Abingdon Road was flooded.

Co-owner Abbie Kerry said: “We have 30 horses and we’ve already had to take four to some fields in Iffley where we can keep them for now.”