IT was all hands on deck last night as part of the city faced almost certain flooding, with water levels continued to rise.

Despite the threat of flooding, residents of Osney Island, Oxford, were united in adversity.

By 10pm, water levels along West Street had risen to around a foot from the Hollybush Pub halfway down the road.

Residents have worked hard throughout the day to build a barrier between homes and the encroaching water.

Neil Marshall, of West Street, said: "We've been at it since noon today trying to get it as high as possible.

"There was an old lady that lives a few doors down who has been evacuated.

"We saw water had started to get into her house, so a few of us put some bags down to keep the water back.

"It's been great down here today and everyone has pulled together to make sure others are taken care of.

"We just hope now that the water doesn't get over the wall, if it does there is nothing we can do."

Liz Walls, who only moved into her home a year ago, had to race back home from Liverpool after receiving a call from a friend.

She said: "We thought the worst of it had already passed so I went up to Liverpool this morning.

"When I got the call I had to jump in the car to come back down and make sure everything was all right.

"We just hope now that they've got it wrong again and that nothing will come of it, but the water is higher than it's been so far."

West Street was facing a battle from both ends as people nervously watched a wall that had been shored up earlier in the day by the city council.

Tomas Rijks, of Bridge Street, said: "If that wall goes then every house on my road and East Street will be affected as so much water will come through.

"It's just a waiting game now to see what happens. I'm fairly sure it will be a sleepless night for everyone, but there seems to be a few bottles of wine kicking about."

On Bridge Street, water again was reaching up to a foot deep toward the far end and water had started to make its way up through the water table.

Tom Mardle, 24, said: "It's been coming up through the garden for the past few days and we thought that was it.

"Now the kitchen is floating about and the lino floor is bubbling up. We've had to accept that it is happening, so we're going to just have a few drinks and wait."

Along East Street, residents watched as the Thames continued to lap up over the edge and those living on boats were advised to move out for the time being.

Jane Griffiths said: "The lock keeper came and advised us to leave for the night as the levels were rising and the water is moving very quickly.

"Luckily, we have friends who live on East Street that we can stay with, but I shouldn't think I'll be getting much sleep."

Station manager of Rewley Road station, John Nixon, agreed the wall along East Street needed to be watched carefully and warned that water levels were forecast to peak today.

He said: "I've been here all day and in the time I've been here I would say the water levels have risen by eight or nine inches.

"The Environment Agency has warned us that the river levels will peak tomorrow at around 1.15pm.

"I would like to commend all of the residents for their spirit and never-say-die attitude with their cups of tea and good spirit. They have been excellent."

By 10pm residents were being warned to turn off electricity.