Mick Dummer got a nasty shock when he arrived at work on Monday morning.
His Thameside Mitsubishi car dealership and garage had finally succumbed overnight to the weeks of persistent rain, and its workshop was now submerged under a foot of water.
“We are well and truly under water and there’s no way we can operate the workshop like this – the servicing, MOT work, repairs, we can't do anything,” said Mr Dummer, the after-sales manager of the outlet, next to the main bridge in Chertsey, Surrey.
“From a business point of view it’s annoying. We can’t afford not to operate for too long but there’s more rain coming in and the water is rising all the time. If this goes on for too long, we’ll have to shut the site down and disperse the team to our garages in Reading, Putney and Chessington,” Mr Dummer added.
Mr Dummer acknowledges that politicians appear to be stepping up their campaign against flooding as the problems spread from Somerset towards London. By the same token, he says there is a strong feeling among some in the community that Westminster is more committed to protecting “that end of the Thames” than them.
Nine miles north, a funeral procession in the Berkshire village of Datchet was unable to pick up mourners, prompting the local Ford garage to use its four-by-by four to pick them up and transport them to the cortege.
Four miles east of Chertsey the fire brigade was finishing off an evacuation programme ferrying the final members of a housing community across by boat after they were inundated with water.
In pictures: Flooding in Somerset
In pictures: Flooding in Somerset
1/45 Floods in Muchelney
Flood water surrounds Horsey Farm close to the village of Muchelney on the Somerset Levels near Langport in Somerset
2/45 Floods in Muchelney
Flood water surrounds the village of Muchelney on the Somerset Levels near Langport in Somerset
3/45 Floods in Bridgwater
Flood water continues to cover farmland on the Somerset Levels near Bridgwater in Somerset
4/45 Floods in Langport
Two men use a boat on a flooded road on the Somerset Levels near Langport in Somerset
5/45 Floods in Langport
A car is left parked on a flooded road on the Somerset Levels near Langport in Somerset
6/45 Floods in Moorland
An emergency flood pump ejects water into the River Parrett near the village of Moorland
7/45 Floods in Burrowbridge
A general view of floodwater on the Somerset Levels is pictured from Burrowbridge in Somerset
8/45 Floods in Burrowbridge
Burrowbridge Village Hall is surrounded by water during continued flooding at Burrowbridge in Somerset
9/45 Floods in Bridgwater
Network Rail of the flooded rail line at Bridgwater, Somerset after the River Perrett flooded on the Somerset Levels
10/45 Floods in Somerset
Nigel Farage wades in water as he visits a flooded property at Burrowbridge on the Somerset Levels near Bridgwater
11/45 Floods in Moorland
A general view of an owners home that has been affected by flooding in Moorland
12/45 Floods in Burrowbridge
Flood waters engulf a house with a wall of sandbags around it in Burrowbridge
13/45 Floods in Burrowbridge
Devon and Somerset Fire and rescue service evacuate two women and two cats in baskets through flood waters in Burrowbridge
14/45 Floods in Somerset
A car sits in flood water on a flooded property at Burrowbridge on the Somerset Levels near Bridgwater
15/45 Floods in Moorland
A graveyard is seen underwater in the village of Moorland
16/45 Floods in Moorland
A graveyard is seen underwater in the village of Moorland
17/45 Floods in Somerset
A car drives through flood water on the Somerset Levels near Langport in Somerset
18/45 Floods in Somerset
Flood water collects in an allotment site near Langport in Somerset
19/45 Floods in Somerset
Flooded fields surround the River Tone that has burst its banks viewed from Windmill Hill, in Stoke-St-Gregory near Langport in Somerset
20/45 Floods in Somerset
Trees are reflected in flood waters on the Somerset Levels near Langport in Somerset
21/45 Floods in Somerset
Farmer Roger Forgan uses a boat to cross farm land in front of his flooded farm which has been cut off by flood waters at Muchelney near Langport in Somerset
22/45 Floods in Somerset
A man walks beside the River Tone seen from Windmill Hill, Somerset, as flooding persists on the levels
23/45 Floods in Somerset
Flooded fields around the River Tone seen from Windmill Hill, Somerset
24/45 Floods in Somerset
An electricity survey helicopter flies over flooded farmland surrounding Burrowbridge in Somerset
25/45 Floods in Somerset
Flooded farmland surrounding Burrowbridge in Somerset
26/45 Floods in Somerset
Flood water is pumped into the River Parrott by the Environment Agency in Moorland in Somerset
27/45 Floods in Somerset
A flood sign is seen in flood waters surrounding farm buildings in Somerset
28/45 Floods in Somerset
Debris washed up by flood water is seen at James Winslade's farm in Moorland in Somerset
29/45 Floods in Somerset
Flood water surrounds a house in the village of Thorney in Somerset
30/45 Floods in Somerset
Farmer James Winslade stands in front of bales of animal feed as he surveys some of his 790 acres of flooded land at his farm in Moorland in Somerset, England
31/45 Floods in Somerset
A car is seen submerged on the side of a flooded road leading into the cut-off village of Muchelney in Somerset. A local council declared a major incident on the flood-hit Somerset Levels where some villages like Muchelney have been cut off for weeks by flooding that has submerged roads and thousands of acres of farmland in the area of southwestern England
32/45 Floods in Somerset
A policeman on a boat looks at a car submerged on the side of a flooded road leading into the cut-off village of Muchelney in Somerset
33/45 Floods in Somerset
The village of Muchelney is seen beyond flood water in Somerset
34/45 Floods in Somerset
Residents disembark a boat after being transported from the cut-off village of Muchelney in Somerset on 27 January. A new plan to deal with a flood-hit area of south-west England will be drawn up within six weeks, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson announced as he was confronted by angry residents
35/45 Floods in Somerset
A general view take from Burrow Bridge Mump shows flood fields in Somerset on 27 January
36/45 Floods in Somerset
Pipes pump flood water into a river in Burrow Bridge, flood-hit Somerset on 27 January. A local council last week declared a major incident on the flooded Somerset Levels where some villages have been cut off for weeks by water that has submerged roads and thousands of acres of farmland
37/45 Floods in Somerset
Flood water surrounds houses in the village of Thorney in Somerset on 26 January
38/45 Floods in Somerset
A car is seen submerged on the side of a flooded road leading into the cut-off village of Muchelney in Somerset on 26 January
39/45 Floods in Somerset
Cattle feed in a barn in front of a flooded farm yard in the village of Thorney along the road to Muchelney on 24 January
40/45 Floods in Somerset
Muchelney resident Nick Studley delivers groceries to a neighbour in the village on 24 January
41/45 Floods in Somerset
Workers from Pontoonworks build a pontoon along the road leading to the village of Muchelney to help villagers board a boat which has been used for transport along flooded roads on 24 January
42/45 Floods in Somerset
Flooded fields can be seen near the village of Burrowbridge
43/45 Floods in Somerset
The sun rises on 21 January over water that has flooded the main road leading to village of Muchelney
44/45 Floods in Somerset
A car drives through flood water on the A361, which has been closed to traffic due to flooding, at Burrowbridge
45/45 Floods in Somerset
People stop to look at a flooded road leading to village of Muchelney that has been cut off by flood water in Somerset
Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Around the corner, in a riverside cul-de-sac near the Surrey village of Shepperton, John and Judy Hickey were preparing for the inevitable, as they braced for the water to enter their riverside living room.
Standing knee-deep in water outside their home on Dunalley Park, Mr Hickey pointed the finger of blame firmly at the Environment Agency’s failure to dredge the build-up of silt from the Thames and speed the river’s flow.
“I’m pretty cross because they’ve not done their job – dredging the rivers would sort it but it’s been at least ten years since they were dredged,” said Mr Hickey.
“[Agency chairman] Chris Smith is completely useless and should resign – what does he know about flooding? What are his engineering qualifications?,” said Mr Hickey, as his neighbours waded to and fro in green wellies, attempting to go about their everyday business.
“We’re completely surrounded. The water is just 20 centimetres away from entering our home and I think we will be flooded in the next two days,” Mr Hickey said.
“We’ve put the furniture upstairs and everything that’s downstairs is on scaffolding,” Mrs Hickey added.
Jillian Lampkin, a neighbour of theirs, wades past. “I’m watching the water creep up but what can you do? I’ve been here 30 years and the house was built in 1926 and it’s never been flooded. But it quite possibly could be soon,” Mrs Lampkin said.
As the Thames Barrier was closed for the 20th time in recent weeks - the most since it it started operating in 1982 - and the river reached record water levels, the Army was called in to help residents, including those in Chertsey and Dachet.
Back over by the main Chertsey bridge, Clive and Debbie Milne-Buckley said extensive development in the area has exacerbated the flooding.
“I find it amusing that they keep building on the flood plains. There’s a big development just down the road that was built about 10 years ago, which is under water,” said Debbie.
“And they’re still at it – they’re building a bungalow near here that is all flooded, right on The Thames – it’s a laugh a minute,” added Clive.
True enough, a few hundred yards down the road the foundations of a bungalow-in-progess poke out of the top of the water, alongside bags of cement, wheelbarrows, cement mixers and breeze blocks in a scene of frozen construction.
A little way down, on the opposite side of the river to the house of 7-year old Zane Gbangbola, who tragically lost his life over the weekend, David Bishop is feeling frustrated at the Environment Agency’s lack of action.
“I almost feel like kidnapping them and dragging them by the scruff of their neck and saying ‘look’,” said Mr Bishop, in reference to the Environment Agency. His living room is standing in 2 inches of water.
“They do not do enough and they don’t listen to people – they are smug almost,” he added.
Mr Bishop was standing next to a group of emergency services staff and vehicles, as the South East ambulance service had set up a temporary camp by the river and was waiting on standby.
A hundred yards down the river, a United Emirates-based Briton was watching as the water inched toward a first-floor apartment that he is thinking about buying.
“It has certainly put a bit of doubt in my mind,” he said.
A few hundred metres “inland”, the playground of St Anne’s Catholic primary school was almost completely submerged.
Ann Colman, the school’s headmistress, put a brave face on the situation. “The only impact is that we’ve had to stagger the playtime because we have less space. It’s also caused a lot of excitement – the fields next door are very picturesque with birds and swans and seagulls and that has caused a lot of excitement among the children.”
As Chertsey remained the subject of a severe flood warning – meaning risk of death – last night, it looks likely that things are going to get worse in the village before they get better. And with 14 severe flood warnings issued along The Thames, it seems as those the problem is going to inch closer to Westminster.