A woman who was carried out of her home on a raft has described the horror of watching her cottage fill with water.

Val, a resident of Kennet Place in Marlborough, lives directly opposite the River Kennet and was one of those worst affected by the Storm Henk floods which submerged the town on Friday, January 5, 2024.

The elderly woman has said that despite being surrounded by devastation all around her, it was a hug from a firefighter and the kindness shown to her by her neighbours which has overwhelmed her the most.

"I was at home when the flooding started and I had a lot of help as soon as we all realised it was going to flood.

"It came quite quickly across the road, and I was standing here by the door with the gel bags from the council and tarpaulin and sandbags trying to form a defence," she recounted.

"It was incredibly scary. I remember watching the water seep in rapidly and the carpets going from yellow to a very different colour as the water rose up over the plug sockets."

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The water in Val's house rose up above the plug sockets.The water in Val's house rose up above the plug sockets. (Image: Newsquest)

Val was one of the many residents whose house was attended to by the emergency services, and she was told that she would have to be evacuated by raft despite her protests that she could wade out.

"I only had a few minutes to get all my meds and my iPad and phone in a mad rush.

"I remember the fireman kept asking me if I had everything essential because we only had a few minutes and he asked if there was anything else I needed.

"I just said ‘a hug’. That fireman gave me the biggest hug which meant so much to be and then he helped me into the raft and I floated out of my cottage."

Val's home has now been stripped of all of its carpets, water stains are visible, and her furniture is now outside in the street.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Val's warm homely cottage has been left severely damaged by the floods.Val's warm homely cottage has been left severely damaged by the floods. (Image: Newsquest)

"But I have to say, what has been more overwhelming than the flood itself is the incredible kindness that was volunteered and the community spirit that has brought the whole town together," she added.

“I have had so many offers of a bed that I could probably sofa surf in a different bed every night for the next six months if I wanted to.

“People came and offered me soup and a phone charger so I could get in contact with my daughter who was panicking. It has just been unbelievably overwhelming."

The Marlborough woman is now staying with her daughter and son-in-law for the foreseeable future, but hopes to be able to flood-proof her listed cottage in the foreseeable future.