A COUPLE praised more than 30 neighbours as “angels” after they rushed to help when their home was flooded for the second time in less than a year.

Vincent and Janet Barringer watched in horror as water poured into their home, in Victoria Avenue, Rayleigh, on Sunday.

They were still putting right some of the £100,000 flood damage they suffered in last August’s flash floods.

Mr Barringer, 71, looked on in disbelief as the water rose 15 inches up his front door in the space of half an hour.

He said: “I was thinking, ‘Oh no, I don’t believe it. Not again.’ It started seeping through the front door and the back and into the kitchen.

“It was six inches in the house in half an hour or less.

“We were in despair. We didn’t knowwhat to do. We tried to get stuff out of the way.

“Then I looked out of the window and I couldn’t believe it. There was a little girl in the driveway – it really choked me up to see it.

“She had a broom and she and her dad were trying to sweep the water back. Then, all of a sudden, the numbers started to grow and people came from everywhere.”

Mrs Barringer said: “It was like angels had flown down. It was just amazing.”

The couple only knew one of the good Samaritans, who used brooms, buckets and a pump to clear the water.

Despite neighbours’ best efforts, the couple’s newly-refitted kitchen, hallway, bathroom and living room have been ruined again.

They spent six-and-a-half months in temporary accommodation after last August’s flash floods, caused by drains which were unable to cope.

Now they have had to book back into the Premier Inn, in Rayleigh.

The couple had still not got around to putting inanew fireplace or re-hanging family pictures after last year’s flood.

They spent Sunday evening tearing up carpets which had only been laid five months before.

Mr Barringer, a retired print worker, said: “I’m in despair really. To have it twice in a year I just don’t know what to do. Have we got to move?

“We can’t have this happening every year. So far we seem to have spent our retirement clearing up.

“The last year has been the most traumatic in our married lives.”

However, Mr Barringer said the community’s support had kept them going, adding: “It’s difficult to express how grateful I am.”