A FAMILY from Watlington faces up to six months out of their home after being hit by flooding.
They were one of three households to be woken up in the early hours on Friday by the sound of water rushing into their homes.
The grassland behind their properties in The Goggs had become saturated after days of rain and the water had nowhere else to go.
Chris Andrews, whose family has lived at the home he shares with his partner Alison Jamieson and her 13-year-old daughter Lauren for generations, said this was the first time in living memory that the houses had been flooded.
Mr Andrews, 36, said: “My parents lived here for 40 years and I have lived here for five years and we have never seen anything like it.
“The water just could not go anywhere. All week we were watching it running down the road.”
The family were woken up at about 3am when the water began seeping into the property next door and then into their house through the conservatory and into the kitchen and lounge.
Ms Jamieson, 38, said: “I came downstairs in my slippers and it was just like a river. The water was freezing cold and it was dark. We had no power.”
The couple immediately began lifting their furniture on to bricks to take it out of the water, which reached about 4in at its deepest. They then began bailing out the house using anything to hand, including a snow shovel.
Ms Jamieson paid tribute to neighbours, family and friends who rallied round, including Geoff Hall, George Spratt and his son Darren who had been digging trenches in the field since 5am that day in an attempt to divert the floodwater. This worked and the property began to dry out over the weekend.
Ms Jamieson said the couple’s insurance company had said they were likely to be out of their home for six months while the house was refurbished.
She said: “It was not clean water and they said that because of the contamination they were going to completely strip the house, take the plaster off the walls and strip out the floors.” Neighbours Lee and Geoff Hall, who have lived in The Goggs for 28 years, called the fire service to help pump the water out of their home and were loaned a pump by friends.
Mrs Hall, 63, said: “It was great community spirit, which was so nice to see. We are just thankful we did not get flooded as badly as others.”
An elderly woman whose home was also flooded was evacuated and will not be able to return until repairs have been carried out.