THAMES Water was caught off guard by this week's flooding, despite spending a year updating emergency responses.

The company says it did not expect the volume of rain even though the Met Office released a local flood alert at 6am on Tuesday morning forecasting 15mm of rain.

Misfiring devices, put into place by the company as a temporary solution, also caused a slower than normal reaction time.

The admissions came a day after many residents, in Haydon Wick were left facing tens of thousands of pounds' worth of property damage.

Others in the neighbourhood were facing the reality that they must now spend months out of their homes only a short while after moving back after last July's floods.

However, Thames Water says no other company could have offered residents more than it did. Bob Collington, Thames Water's director for waste water services, says the company provides the latest flood mitigation devices including early warning alarms to warn the firm when water levels are too high, and flood gates to block water from coming through doors.

He said: "We were not given an appropriate warning by the Environment Agency or the Met Office. We provided residents with everything we could have including the mobile phone numbers of many of the directors of the company and the CEO.

"The devices were not 100 per cent successful but they did lessen the amount of water in the homes."

However the Met Office said it has forewarned Thames Water about the likelihood of a large amount of rain A spokesman said: "The duration was miscalculated, not the volume. We issued local flooding warnings at 6am."

Julie Jackson has lived in Blunsdon Road for 19 years.

She has been flooded 10 times in two years and says none of the devices implemented in her home have worked.

She said: "The meters, flood gates, non-return valves - none of them worked.

"Thames Water told us over and over that they would work and they didn't. Between last July and now there have been council meetings, scrutiny meetings and Thames Water came out to my house once.

"But all that doesn't matter much now that there is three inches of water in my living room.

"I was due to move back into my home on Tuesday but now I have no idea when I will be back in."

Mr Collington added that a meeting was to be held on June 18, at the Civic Offices, to which all residents were invited, which would lay out long-term solutions to the flooding issues.

He said work to improve the drainage system in Haydon Wick would take up to two years to complete, but refused to tell the Adver what engineering work would be carried out until the company had met with residents.