THE powers-that-be said do what you can to protect your homes – so when Janet Littlewood became worried about the floodwater in Buckskin, she asked a relative to dig a ditch around her house.

The 45-year-old watched in horror as the floodwater rose around her home in Antrim Close, where she lives with her partner and child.

She said: “The council said we could do whatever we could to protect our homes. My brother-in-law works as a groundsman, and he brought a tractor here and we dug a ditch.

“It took a couple of hours and we were using spades at first. Everybody has been working together and helping neighbours.”

Alan Taylor, 67, also of Antrim Close, watched as floodwater reached his front door. Thankfully, no water had come into his house by Monday, but it flooded his back garden.

He said that nearby Blackdown Close floods regularly, but last weekend, the flooding spread.

Mr Taylor said: “This is the first time it’s happened, and I have been here since the estate opened in 1978.

“It has been a worrying experience. Where we are is the lowest point in the street. When the drains are clear, the water disappears, but it has gradually built up and up.”

Last Sunday evening, Karen Jones had to leave her Antrim Close home with her husband and four children and spend the night at the Premier Inn at Basingstoke Leisure Park.

With the help of workers from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, the family moved their possessions to the first floor, leaving a table and cooker on concrete blocks.

While their house had not flooded by Monday, the water had reached her door and flooded her garden.

The 33-year-old care worker said: “Everyone on Facebook has been slating the council but they are the ones who have been helping us – I can’t fault them. The people from Thames Water haven’t shown their faces.”

Louise Newland was evacuated from Antrim Close with her husband, Alan, 40, and their two children Shannon, six and Matthew, one. The family are now staying with Louise’s father in another part of Buckskin.

Louise, 40, said: “When we realised there was water rising up through the floor, we left as soon as we could.

“It was a shock but you have to just get on with it. Most people have really been pulling together, helping each other with sandbags and to move possessions. I’ve got no idea when we’ll be back in our home.”

Extra police patrols are protecting people’s properties in affected areas.