HOMEOWNERS are angry after discovering that the heartache and aggravation of being flooded out of their homes was caused by a blockage upstream.

Many residents in Abbey Barn Road, Wycombe Marsh, found their homes and possessions under two feet of water after torrential rain in October and five sheltered homes were evacuated in the early hours of the morning of October 30.

Now, as most families are preparing for Christmas, the flood victims are re-laying carpets and replacing furniture to try and put their homes back together.

John Gluchy, 34, from Abbey Barn Road, said: "Thames Water had not cleared the grids. They said they didn't have the manpower to do it. All this could have been avoided if they had kept a check on the grids."

83-year-old grandmother Ivy Savin, of the same road, was glad to move back into her home after being evacuated for five weeks.

She said: "All this could have been avoided if the river was not blocked. It really upset me."

Dave Reed, from Rainbow International, a company based in Victoria Street, High Wycombe, which specialises in fire and flood restoration, said: "There are long-term problems like damp and mildew. It is not a situation you should be putting people back in, especially at 83 years old."

The flooding has caused some residents to want to move from homes they have lived in for many years.

Cllr Clare Martens, (Lab: Marsh and Micklefield) said: "Some of the elderly people in my area are desperately looking to move from their homes because of the fear that it may happen again."

Frank Shepherd, spokesman for Thames Water, said: "Grids were getting blocked by debris from further upstream. That was clogging up the culvert there.

"We have employed contractors to regularly check the culvert to ensure it remains clear and to stop it happening again."