Sixteen severe flood warnings are in place on the stretch of the river though Berkshire and Surrey. Thousands of homes have been affected, and families are being evacuated.

The Environment Agency has also said that there is rapidly rising water in Somerset, and the area is being watched closely.

Marlow Lock, Romney Lock Walton and Ditton Island are some of the worst affected areas, with the river reaching record highs. Rail routes on First Great Western, CrossCountry, Southeastern and South West Trains have also been affected.

Speaking to Sky News, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, who has been meeting residents of Somerset, said: “No one has encountered this kind of deluge over such a sustained period of time. People are adept at having to adapt and we need to work together – that’s the key thing.”

The Met Office has said that another storm is expected to hit the area this evening and river levels will continue to rise. The military has been called in to affected areas to install sandbags, and there are a further 20,000 ready to be used.

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