BUSINESSES hit by flash floods have vowed to battle on.

Ice cream man Mick Grice returned home from work at the Welcome Hut, on Canvey seafront, to find his house flooded by 18 inches of water.

Mr Grice, of San Remo Road, Canvey, said: “My whole ground floor was mullered.

“The water in my garage was 18 inches deep and it happened in two or three hours.

“I’ve lived here 40 years and I’ve never seen it like this. Last August it was bad, but this was worse. I’ve lost a lot of the stock I had in my garage.”

Water quickly seeped into Mr Grice’s garage, destroying ice cream, cones and boxes of meat.

He said: “I keep three big freezers in the back and they’re all soaked. I’ve lost thousands of pounds – maybe £3,000 of stock.

I’ve had to put stuff in neighbours’ freezers and I can’t do anything about it.

“I would have put a week’s wages on it never happening again, but it has and it was worse. What can we do?

“I’ve managed to open the kiosk, but my garage is ruined.

“I tried to pile stuff up, but it still got wet. I’ve got freezers full of stock that I’m just going to have to throw away. The road was blocked off because cars were coming down and making bowwaves – it was unbelievable.

As they were going through, the water was getting higher in my house.”

Flood levels rose before residents could put out sandbags and prepare.

Mr Grice, 70, said: “It was absolutely horrendous.

“I’ve worked on the seafront for 26 years and I’ve never seen anything like it.”