CARS were left stranded and gardens submerged after flooding struck Abingdon – but the devastation of previous years has so far been avoided.
The Vale of White Horse Council Rye Farm car park in Culham Road and the Cygnet Court retirement home in Mill Paddock last night remained flooded after a prolonged spell of heavy rain showers.
Flooding there was yesterday expected to rise overnight.
Levels are likely to reach their highest since November and December 2012, but will not be as high as during severe floods of 2003.
Residents remain on high alert, but said they were better prepared after flooding devastated the town in 2007.
In July 2007, 661 homes in Abingdon were affected by flooding and this has led to improved flood defences.
Claire Snowdon, who lives in St Helen’s Mill Bridge in the south of the town, yesterday had foot-high water creeping up to her front door.
She said: “My house was flooded before in 2007.
“Since then, the residents in the building got together and spent thousands of pounds to have flood work done.
“We have now got flood gates and some pumps in all of the ground-floor flats.”
She said the main problem was flooding in the residents’ car park in front of the River Ock, which had left some cars stranded.
Those who moved their cars have had to pay £5.30 a day to keep them in the Vale of White Horse Council-owned car park in West St Helen Street.
Gill Harvey, 73, who lives opposite in Mill Paddock in a stilt house, had her garden and parking spaces flooded.
She said: “Luckily I moved the car up the slope and made sure that everything in the garden shed was fastened so it won’t get swept away.
“I am sure the shed will be a mess when I come to open it. I have lived here since 1981 and flooding is definitely becoming more of a problem.”
In the same road, retirement home Cygnet Court – which has 52 flats – had its car park flooded.
Elsewhere, residents in Meadowside – which back on to the River Ock – took precautionary measures in light of the 2007 floods.
Bella Usher, 28, piled up sandbags outside her home. She said: “It seems all right at the moment, but I am a bit concerned about it, particularly as I have a nine-month old baby.”
Fellow resident Valerie Keates, 78, said: “It’s a bit worrying, but I am hoping that the worst is over.
“In 2007 it came six inches over the top of my wall and everything on the ground floor of my house had to be replaced.
“I had to live with my daughter Kim Williams for a few months, so I am hoping that doesn’t happen again.”