After my car sank in the floods of 2007, I had to carry my little daughter on my shoulders, wading out of the stinking flood water in the middle of the night. After that I have never underestimated the true misery that being flooded brings. I only lost my car but having flood water in your home is far, far worse.

The smell, the hygiene and the damage to precious items makes this one of the most miserable natural disasters for a homeowner. It makes me absolutely determined to ensure that those who have been hit by this flooding are helped back to normality as fast and as efficiently as possible.

I am sure that like me, all Herefordians are concerned by the unprecedented levels of flooding in our County. The situation in Hereford city is very distressing and many parts of my own North Herefordshire constituency have been badly affected.

I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to our fantastic emergency services who have been working tirelessly to help affected residents.

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has assured me that he has activated the Bellwin emergency financial assistance scheme for areas which have seen significant impacts over recent days.

This will compensate the Council for money it spends but if you or people you know have been affected please don’t hesitate to contact my office and I will do all I can to assist. I am updating my website as the situation develops – www.billwiggin.com

This will reflect all the offers of help and advice I receive, and which may be useful to you. I will also be pressing the Prime Minister to come and visit us to see what devastation has been caused and to ensure that we do not miss out on Government spending when it arrives.

I would urge everyone to take extreme care when travelling and I am sure that we will all do what we can to help residents and businesses get back on their feet.