Storm Dennis battered large parts of Britain on Sunday which were still reeling from the havoc caused by Ciara.
Homes and businesses were hit in the worst deluge of recent years, with a record number of flood warnings.
Angry residents accused ministers of not doing enough to protect them. One distraught mum in flooded South Wales said: “We have lost everything.”
A mum has told how she woke up in the middle of the night to find her home flooded as Storm Dennis brought more misery and travel chaos across Britain yesterday.
Tracey Newman revealed she feared for the life of her teenage son who was asleep on the sofa when the terrifying deluge struck.
She spoke as 762 flood warnings and alerts were in place, covering Scotland to Cornwall, the highest total since records started in 2006.
The Met Office also issued a rare red “danger to life” warning, with at least two people dying during the storm. Many communities were still mopping up after last week’s Storm Ciara when the latest rain and fierce winds swept in.
Tracey, 46 – who lives with son Tienne, 15, and 16-year-old daughter Aiko – was among residents of Nantgarw in South Wales affected by Dennis. She said: “I woke up at 3.45am when I heard water pouring. I thought the washing machine had burst.
“I went downstairs and the water was knee-high. Tienne was asleep on the sofa.
“I was screaming and shouting for him to wake up. He waded through the water to get upstairs. It was terrible. We have lost everything downstairs. It’s been awful. Really frightening.”
South Wales was one of the many areas hit by Dennis. Residents in Ilkley and Calder, West Yorks, were being helped by the Army over the weekend as they prepared for more damage to add to that already caused by Ciara. Locals were shoring up flood defences with sandbags.
In Herefordshire and Worcestershire whole communities had to be evacuated, while Dartmoor, Nottinghamshire and Hampshire also had significant floods.
More than 200 flights were cancelled due to winds of more than 80mph, affecting almost 50,000 passengers.
Railway lines in South Wales and the M54 westbound through Shropshire was also closed.
The River Ouse in York is tomorrow expected to match the 2000 levels of flooding in the city.
Pontypridd is in one of the three areas where major incidents were declared yesterday – along with West Mercia in the Midlands and Newark and Sherwood, Nottinghamshire.
In just 48 hours from Friday to Sunday morning 156.2mm of rain fell in parts of South Wales – well over the monthly average of 111.1mm.
South Wales Fire and Rescue Service group manager Paul Mason said: “In my 31 years in the service this is the worst I’ve ever seen. This weather is unprecedented.”
The River Taff in Pontypridd reached 5.3m, double the previous record.
Houses, shops and businesses were deluged. Emma Jamal, 40, owner of Kookoo Madame boutique, wept as she said: “The water was halfway up the shutter, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It’s so devastating to see and I don’t even know where to start or what to do next. This is our livelihood. It’s our life.”
Prince’s cafe boss Joseph Gambarini, 66, said the floods are the worst since the Taff broke its banks in the early 60s. He added: “The High Street could be closed for weeks.”
Resident Michael Iles told how his home was under 3ft of water within minutes.
he 55-year-old said: “I saw the water coming through the front door. I looked outside and saw a taxi being washed backwards down the street with the driver hanging on to the front bumper.
"The driver was in a terrible state of shock, he could barely speak so we stripped him off and put him in some dry clothes."
Neighbour Huw Griffiths, 51, said the cabbie gave his name only as Islam. He added: “I shouted, ‘Leave it go, it’s only a bloody car.’ But he was very focused on saving the taxi. Then the river wall collapsed so I waded in, grabbed him and pulled him out of the torrent.
He could have died, the taxi ended up being washed downriver.” The town’s Upper Boat Inn pub was left under 1.5m of water Manager Zoe Riley said the expected closure will cost around £90,000.
Emergency crews used boats to rescue pensioners, families and children from cut-off homes in Nantgarw.
Among them were Terri O’Donnell and one-year-old son Blake.
Churches and leisure centres in the area have opened their doors to house evacuated people as a huge cleanup operation commenced. Local Labour MP Alexandra Davies-Jones set up crowdfunding to help those affected.
Two bodies were pulled from the sea in Kent on Saturday. A search was under way yesterday in Brighton for a woman seen entering the water.
The Red Cross said water levels are expected to peak today and tomorrow. It said: “It is important people are ready should the worst happen.”