Residents and business owners say they have been “ruined” by flooding after their homes, garages and workshops were soaked in inches of water.

People in Rope Walk and Ferry Road in Littlehampton are still dealing with the devastating water damage brought by Storm Kathleen on Tuesday.

Now, the community say they are still reeling from the effects and picking up the pieces of what is left in their homes.

Ian Howlett’s house backs on to the river wall and he was woken up by flood waters flowing into his home.

The Argus: Ian HowlettIan Howlett (Image: The Argus)

Ian, 77, said: “I went to go to the toilet and I felt my feet in ice cold water. It was a rude awakening.

“The muddy water was deep and my conservatory must have had 18 inches in it.

“The recovery is still ongoing, it will be a long time yet.”

Ian, who is currently in emergency housing, said that the community in Rope Walk had rallied around each other to help the recovery process.

The Argus: Water damage inside Ian's houseWater damage inside Ian's house (Image: The Argus)

Dozens of people as old as 92 were evacuated from their homes on Tuesday as water cascaded from the River Arun and into businesses and houses after it burst its banks.

Tony Thompson, 71, owns Bridge Garage in Ferry Road and says the flooding is the worst he has seen in 40 years.

He added: “We got flooded three times and I’m knackered.

“We’ve lost all our business. We have about 10 MOT’s a day that we have lost.

“Something needs to be done to stop it happening again, its caused a lot of people a lot of inconvenience.”

The Argus: Tony ThompsonTony Thompson (Image: The Argus)

Kevin Fulbrook, 60, who owns the SRR Motorsport garage next door, said he had ended up in hospital after a cut on his leg turned septic after kneeling in contaminated water.

He said: “Our race cars have been destroyed, customer cars have been damaged and I have lost two of my own cars. The stench of it all is horrible.

“We’re not going to be able to get insurance again. We can try and save it but we’ve got to start thinking if we need to move.”

As the stench of the damp, mud, and stagnant water still hangs in the air and in people’s homes, residents remain in recovery mode as they begin to try and process the damage to their homes.

Many in Rope Walk say they will now struggle to get flood cover for their homes, if they have been able to get any at all.

A GoFundMe has been set up for Rita's Diner, who lost over £2,000 in stock.

The online appeal states: "Many businesses have been ruined and residents lost their homes and belongings.

Rita’s Diner has been lucky enough not to have any water damage but due to having no power since late Monday evening have lost all of their stock which was worth about £2,000.

Christine and Ellie have been at the diner since 4.30am Tuesday morning offering support to anyone that needs it and checking in on people who haven’t been evacuated. They opened their doors to hand out donations of food which was kindly donated by the Community Fridge and for anyone who needs to just sit and have some time.

As you can imagine this will have a lasting impact on all businesses and residents on Rope Walk.

"It would be amazing to get Rita’s doors back open and running normally as soon as possible so Christine and Ellie can continue to support everyone in the area while the clean up and repairs continue for months ahead.

"If anyone can spare anything it would be greatly received and we would be forever thankful."

Another site, an indoor cricket nets business, had been open just three weeks before being plunged under over a foot of water.

What many applauded, though, was the spirit of the community to come together and help eachother.

Former coastguard Nigel Townsend, 55, said he was using his skills as an electrician to go from door to door and help get people’s power back on. He praised Littlehampton Golf Club.

The Argus: High water marks in Tony's garageHigh water marks in Tony's garage (Image: The Argus)

He said: “I’m helping people out for nothing.

“The golf club has been amazing, they put on hot food and a roast dinner for everyone.”

George Strevens, 49, whose workshop is in Rope Walk, added: “We’ve got to help each other out as much as we can around here.

“I can’t assess the state of the workshop yet because it’s still in pitch black.

“It has ruined me. I’ve got £5,000 worth of projects that I can’t do but luckily they aren’t damaged.

“You feel for all the people who have lost their houses and personal possessions. Tools can be replaced and wood can dry.”

Residents in Rope Walk were evacuated from their homes on Tuesday morning as flood waters cascaded into their homes.

Parts of West Sussex remained under water for the day including in Medmerry where a caravan park was left submerged.

Holidaymakers huddled in a pub while emergency services and the RNLI ferried families and pets to safety in dinghies.

A refuge centre was set up by West Sussex County Council in the Wave Leisure Centre in Littlehampton for those affected by the flooding.

Over 200 people in total were evacuated from their homes.

Many still remain unable to return to their homes and are currently housed in emergency accommodation or hotels.

Water levels have now receded and Ferry Road and Rope Walk have now re-opened.