A Basildon couple have described their despair at being “trapped in their home every time it rains” after a ten-year battle with seven-inch deep floodwater.

Pitsea residents Virginia Wigmore, 76, and John Wigmore, 81, claim they have been unable to leave their home due to backed up drains and a collapsing street.

The couple say each time it rains a six to seven inch deep puddle appears outside their home in Plumleys.

Mrs Wigmore, who has recently had a knee replacement, fears John, who is in a wheelchair, would struggle to be taken from the house in an emergency.

Whenever it rains she is forced to rely on family to get John’s prescription.

She said: “If I need help, if my husband falls, I cannot get him help. I have stood in the water before and it is well over my ankles.

“It’s just too deep and it usually takes a day or more to clear away. It was very deep on Saturday and Sunday night.

“It has prevented us from leaving the house to get prescriptions. A year ago we had a man come to check our boiler and instead of trying to go through it he jumped over our fence.

“We have talked to the council and we have showed them photos, but they cannot seem to do anything about it.”

Mrs Wigmore is worried she could fall and be injured if she tried to tackle it.

She said: “I want to see it repaired so we can get out of the house. I am trapped and John is in an electric wheelchair so pushing him through it would damage the chair.

“At the moment, we are scared we are going to fall if we move through it, we are trapped in.”

Virginia’s niece, Jodie Bushe, 52, was forced to travel down from Dagenham last week to help the couple get their prescriptions and things into the house due to the depth of the floodwater.

She said: “My main concern is if my uncle falls and they have to rush him to hospital, Virginia cannot get him out, she would be trapped and I am disabled myself, so I have to rely on my son to go down and help them.”

A spokesperson for Essex Highways said: “We carry out inspections and drain cleaning across the county every year. However, due to recent high levels of rainfall it can take some time for increased water levels to drain in maintained gullies, or ditches and drainage owned by water authorities.

“When road flooding issues are reported to us, we visit the site and carry out gully cleansing and jetting if necessary. We have to prioritise defects according to their risk.”