Builder lends hand to flood-marooned neighbour

The Oxford Times: John Mastroddi, 64, helps neighbour Rita Pattinson, 90, across the bridge he made. Picture: OX64551 David Fleming Buy this photo » John Mastroddi, 64, helps neighbour Rita Pattinson, 90, across the bridge he made. Picture: OX64551 David Fleming

NINETY-year-old widow Rita Pattinson has praised her neighbours after they built a bridge for her family to visit while she is marooned by the flood.

Mrs Pattinson lives on the Kennington Road, in Kennington, which flooded last Friday and has been closed since Monday.

She said: “My next-door neighbours John and Chris Mastroddi have been wonderful. My house is the lowest in the street and when the water came, it was up to my door very quickly, leaving me marooned inside.

“Without even asking John was out there, making a walkway and pumping water away. His wife Chris has been popping in to make sure I am okay.”

John Mastroddi, 64, a builder and member of Oxford Flood Alliance, said: “Although our new flood defences have meant water has not come into our homes, it can be daunting for someone like Mrs Pattinson to look out and see all this water, so I just wanted to make her feel more secure.”

Last year Ms Pattinson was among five householders who gave up part of their garden to allow a £1m flood defence scheme to go ahead.

The Thames Water scheme saw the Hinksey Stream widened to build new flood walls.

A 900-metre surface water sewer was installed which locals say has stopped properties from flooding this time around.

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