Residents mounted a frantic 4am defence to save their Rickmansworth properties from a sudden torrent of flood water.

People in Harefield Road were woken up before dawn by the sound of flooding coming off nearby fields.

Desperate homeowners tried to use shovels to stop the water reaching their houses.

Later in the morning, Three Rivers District Council delivered sandbags to residents affected by the flooding, near to Woodcock Hill Cemetery.

Vidya Singh was awake at 4am in a bid to tackle the ensuing water that was "gushing" towards his home.

The 49-year-old father said: "The water was much higher this morning and it was gushing through down my driveway. It was a panic to move our cars off the driveway, which has been left damaged."

He added: "I have three children and this is not right. We just want to live in peace and sleep comfortably at night without worrying about our homes."

Mr Singh, who works in telecommunications, said there is a culvert which is meant to funnel water from the fields opposite his home, under the road and under his property.

However, he said the culvert has not been "fit for purpose" for many years, and that "more should be done" to fix it.

Mr Singh is concerned about the damage that the flooding may be doing to his home.

He added: "The water has gone underneath our floorboards for sure, so it must be affecting our foundations."

One of Mr Singh’s neighbours, pensioner, Pat Allard, said she has lived at her home since 1965 and the they experienced severe flooding in 2009.

The 81-year-old, who was up at 5.15am, had sandbags in positioned outside her home, blocking the air vents in a bid to stop the water coming in to her property.

Chris Hardey has also been badly affected by the severe weather. His grandfather built his home in 1936.

Watford Observer:

Chris Hardey with his mother Barbara.

Mr Hardey, 37, said: "I’m trying to keep my house from going under water. We’ve got water all around our house and under our floorboards.

"Our cesspit has filled because of the water coming through the garden so we can’t use the toilet."