Countless lives and livelihoods have been shattered by the unprecedented flooding of recent weeks.

Aerial views of towns, villages and farmland swamped by the rivers Wye and Severn in the aftermath of the storms have highlighted the situation to millions.But the impact on ordinary people was summed up by images of an 89-year-old man being carried to safety by a mountain rescue team after rising water trapped him inside his Monmouth home.Peter Morgan, who will be 90 this month, was only able to salvage a carrier bag of possessions - ’just a shirt and slippers’ - from the house on Redbrook Road, where he has lived since he was a boy. He now faces the prospect of months in temporary accommodation while things are sorted out.Yet his first thought has been to thank the emergency services and the local community for the kindness they have shown him (see Letters Page).Peter is an old boy of Monmouth Grammar School who did his National Service in the RAF and worked for many years at ICI as a product control tester. He’s a familiar face in the town and many people have been concerned for his welfare.His nephew Graham Beard, who has flown over from his home in Spain, has been helping to bring some sort of order back into his life.He described how the rescue unfolded."I’d been monitoring the river levels online over the weekend of Storm Dennis and phoned Peter at 8am on the Tuesday to ask how he was getting on."He told me he was sitting on the stairs with the rising water lapping at his feet. Eventually it was more than four-feet high."I told him to get upstairs and immediately phoned 101 and a mountain rescue team were quickly dispatched to help him. They parked up at Redbrook Road roundabout and took a boat down to the house."They asked him to throw down his door keys from an upstairs window."He was wet and cold so they wrapped him in blankets and took him through the floodwater in the canoe, then transported him to the Shire Hall."The plan was to send him to emergency accommodation at Raglan services that night but his god-daughter Abigail, who’s a doctor, happened to be on duty at the triage centre and she took him back to her home in Hereford Road instead."Since then he’s been living in a hotel room in town, but I’ve now organised a temporary flat for him."He’s recovered well from the ordeal. He was initially affected by the shock of having to leave his house but he’s remarkably resilient and he’s been very stoical about it all."The worst thing is the disorganisation and disorientation, the idea of living out of a carrier bag in a hotel room. We even had to go out and buy him new shoes!"He’s lived in the same house since he was a teenager and he knows it will never be the same. He sees it as a step change in his life. The smell of stale river water in the house is unbelievable."He’s lost everything - carpets, furniture and kitchen equipment obviously - and the television which was full of water and looked like a fish tank."But the worst part is the things he’d accumulated over a lifetime which were simply washed off the downstairs shelves -- his stamp albums, collection of hundreds of CDs of classical and military band music, photographs, books, wildlife carvings and standard telescopes."There were also many mementoes of his visits to his sister in Zimbabwe such as copperware. None of these things can be replaced."But he’s been touched by all the people who have been stopping him in the street asking after his welfare. And he knows he’s lucky to be alive."Asked how he was feeling two weeks on he shrugged his shoulders and smiled, saying: ’It is what it is’.He says the riverside location of his house is ’like living in a bowl’ - and he’s been flooded out before, although never as dramatically as this."I’d never want to live anywhere else!" he said.