Surrey under water

  • 11 February 2014
  • From the section UK

Weeks of heavy rain have led to rivers bursting their banks in south-east England.

BBC correspondent Sam Wilson meets people facing the Thames flooding and bracing themselves for worse to come. He starts in the London suburb of Shepperton, famous for its film studios, and talks to people living through their own disaster movie.

Tuesday 11 February

Ernest Floate, 69, lives in Dunally Park, Thames Meadow, Shepperton

Fifteen houses in Dunally Park have water lapping at their walls. It is coming in torrents through gardens and drives and in Mr Floate's case under his house.

"I have my carpentry equipment down there and I can hear it floating and banging about. This is worse than the floods in 2003 - the worst I've seen in 11 years here. These houses are built high but those who've had extensions are now flooded."

"Luckily we've got fields out the back to take the water - any field's welcome at the moment."

Rosemary Wheeler and Shetland pony Ludo

"I've got my elderly father-in-law in the house, but we're not going to move out, we're going to stick it out even if it comes in. We've moved things higher in the house and we have all the medicines we need for my father-in-law."

"The main issue is security. I don't want to leave my house behind... But people are doing this on their own - I haven't seen one Environment Agency [official], one policeman, one soldier or one sandbag - absolutely nothing."

On Ludo: "He's a five-year-old Shetland pony who we've had to move. The water was rising really fast. We put an appeal on Facebook and had a lot of responses but luckily, the chap I work with, his mother deals with horses. It's a big relief. I've been really worried."

Darren Fuller, 48, in Shepperton

Darren Fuller takes dog Lenny to the vet through flood waters in Shepperton. He has already had to rebuild his house once due to floods.

"I bought the house in 2002. It was flooded in 2003 but luckily was still derelict then. I rebuilt it to withstand floods but these are unprecedented.

"People are helping each other out. The Red Lion has become a refuge. But in the marina next door boats are just floating about inside."

Weena Stevenson, 77, lives in Sandhills Meadow

Weena Stevenson moved into her next-door neighbour's house on Saturday as the high waters approached. On Monday they all had to move out again as waters rose further. She's taken refuge at the Red Lion in Shepperton, but can only stay one more night as the room is booked tomorrow.

"I don't know where I'll go next. I've been here over 50 years and this is the first time I've had water in the house. The water's up to chest level down there."

Like many others she hasn't seen the damage being done to her home.

"My house wasn't flooded when I left but will definitely be now. There are 24 houses in Sandhills Meadow and they'll all be flooded. I was brought out in a rubber dinghy. Its quite worrying, my whole life's been taken away. I expect my curtains are soaked, my freezer's full of water. I've no idea how long before I can get back in - it's probably at least a week before it starts to go down."

Claire Hallaways, Thames Meadow

Claire Hallaways had to be rescued from her house in Thames Meadow as the flood waters continued to rise around her.

"The water's only half-way up my garden but it's all around. I decided to leave because I've got bronchitis and need medication. And I couldn't sleep with anxiety at the water. I've been stuck since Wednesday.

"Some people are still there - those with pets are staying. It's much worse than in 2003. Then there was only one day when I couldn't get out. The rescue team were magnificent - so polite and kind and helpful. I'm going to stay with my daughter-in-law, after going to the doctor's."

Image caption Bleak scene on a beautiful part of the River Thames.