PEOPLE living in East Waterside had not received any flood warnings as they evacuated their homes last week.

Firefighters responding to a 999 call rescued Mrs Doreen Beach as water lapped through the house where she was born.

Mrs Beach, who is in her 80s, was given shelter first at Storer Court, Malvern, and then at Duckswich House, Upton.

In the meantime, her home was flooded with three or four feet of water and totally surrounded. She said the situation was worse on her side of the river than the last great flood of 1947.

Also evacuated by firefighters were Carol Barkley and her daughter, who were stranded at Bridge End House and used a mobile phone to call for help.

"We took the rescue boat down there on our appliance and it didn't pay off. The appliance is automatic and it can't cope with difficult areas. It's out of action now," said Sub Officer Dave Walker.

Old Road resident Mark Fisher said his next door neighbour Freya Biggs, one of the local flood wardens, had not received any warning from the Environment Agency as he evacuated his wife Bernadette and seven-year-old daughter Rebecca on Wednesday night (November 1).

Mr and Mrs Fisher waded through three feet of water with flashlights to inspect the damage to their home the following Monday night (November 6).

"You could see that the water had been above the window ledges but it had dropped back to below the top of the skirting boards," said Mr Fisher.

"The movement of the water had dislodged things. A waste bin from the kitchen was in the living room and some chairs we had piled furniture and carpets on on had collapsed. It was very depressing.

"It will be months before we can move back in. The house will have to be dried out before the walls can be replastered and redecorated and the kitchen units will have to be replaced.

"I imagine the repair bill will run to many thousands of pounds."