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A SCHOOLBOY in his wellies with a broom in hand, helping out his neighbours on the first day of the summer holidays, is exactly the kind of community spirit that sums up Canvey.

Alfie Huckle, ten, thought nothing of getting outside to help clean up the street after the flash floods and his attitude could be seen across Canvey yesterday morning.

He excitedly told me: “I saw goldfish swim down the street as some people’s ponds had overflown. I wasn’t scared this time as there wasn’t as much thunder. Last time, people came out to help and I wanted to do the same.”

Neighbours helped clear out driveways, swept roads and sent over food parcels to those who had been affected by the floods.

People told me the police helicopter had circled overheard on Sunday, the council kept the streetlights on and firefighters pumped water from people’s homes.

But on Monday it was a different story, with only residents to be seen as the clean-up began and in typical Canvey Islander fashion, residents were keen to simply get on with the job.

In spite of the damage, many, rather than looking for someone to blame, pulled up their sleeves.

However, questions remain over why the island’s drainage systems failed and how the infrastructure will cope if more houses are built.

It is sad that, for an island with some of the best coastal sea defences, lives are being devastated by rain.