Residents in Burrowbridge in Somerset are exhausted and fearful in equal measure

A car in the floodwater at Burrowbridge, Somerset. Photo: Press Association

As Berkshire gets to grips with its rising floodwaters and its rising anger at the speed of the emergency response - here in Burrowbridge in Somerset they are casting a world-weary eye.

It's been their reality for weeks here now and they are exhausted and fearful in equal measure.

A new woodchip path has been laid along the River Parrett - so treacherous were its mud-slide paths.

Fresh sand will fill yet more hundreds of bags in another push to protect what few properties are holding out.

Cheerful faces, backs wearied - a chain of community snaking between the river and the flooded plains - a grudge match with Mother Nature. All the while eyes snatch glimpses skywards before freezing rain drops fall again.

Sandbags sit ready for use should water levels rise in the village of Burrowbridge Credit: Press Association

Tonight not many will sleep - even if they are lucky enough to be in their own beds. One woman, pale-faced, lit the cigarettes she thought she'd kicked, and told me that she hasn't dropped her guard for weeks now.

Fitful sleep, wary of winds and rains making a midnight blast, ears pricked for any change in the sound of the water pumps keeping ground floors dry. Outside the windows, hay bales which should used for feeding horses long moved-away float past like barrage balloons.

There's no arch visible beneath the river bridge as the water creeps ever higher. And there's no end in sight for the ordeal the people of Somerset endure.

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