Suffolk MP Dr Dan Poulter had to be rescued by a local farmer at Otley on Friday after his car became stuck in the flooding caused by Storm Babet.

He and his family had to stay in a nearby hotel overnight because they were unable to get home to Framlingham - just one group whose plans were scuppered by the flooding.

But the Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP paid tribute to everyone who pulled together to help - and the community spirit that shone through.

His constituency includes both Framlingham and Debenham, probably the two towns most seriously affected by the flooding.

And despite some claims that the dangers of the storm had been understated in the run-up to the flooding, Dr Poulter felt it would have been impossible to avoid many of its effects.

He said: "This really was quite exceptional, the rain was so heavy and the water raised so high that no one could have predicted that."

His constituency office in Framlingham was flooded and some of his staff, including his mother Carole, had to spend the night in the first floor office because they could not get out.

Dr Poulter said: "When the offices there were built, they were 1.5m above the highest level that water had ever been recorded in the area - but when this happened they were overwhelmed."

Ipswich Star: Dr Dan Poulter met residents affected by flooding in his constituency.Dr Dan Poulter met residents affected by flooding in his constituency. (Image: Dr Dan Poulter)

Although much of Suffolk was impacted by the flooding, Debenham, Wickham Market, Framlingham and the surrounding villages were particularly severely impacted and Dr Poulter has spent the weekend visiting homes and businesses to offer help and support to those in need.

Dr Poulter said “Almost everyone living in rural Central Suffolk was impacted by the sudden and unexpected flooding, and my own constituency office was waist deep in water by Friday lunchtime.

“There has been a tremendous community effort throughout Suffolk in response to the flooding and in providing help to those in need. Tractor drivers have been helping to rescue schoolchildren and thanks to community volunteers, hubs were set up in towns and villages to support those stranded in the floods.

“There are too many people to mention individually, but I would particularly like to thank Rachel Chesman and Nick Corke for all they have done to support people in Framlingham affected by the flooding.

"My personal thanks also go to Keith from Otley who drove me and my family to safety and away from the rising flood waters."

His own staff, like many others in Framlingham, have only just started to clear up their office - but they are working from home in a bid to deal with constituents' problems.

He said: “As the clean up operation continues, there are still many families and businesses in difficulty.

"My office team and I continue to work from home and I shall continue to do all that I can to help those in need, and to support local communities to rebuild and recover.”

Dr Poulter is hoping to speak to ministers and officials about trying to ensure Suffolk communities are included in any government help that is offered in the wake of the floods.

Forecasters have warned that more heavy rain could be heading this way at the weekend.

He said he had already been in touch with Downing Street and hoped the issue would come up during this week's Questions to the Prime Minister.

Dr Poulter's constituency also includes much of the area of Ipswich that lost water supplies over the weekend - the pumping station that supplies Whitehouse, most of Whitton, and Castle Hill was damaged by flooding disrupting water supplies to thousands of properties across the west of the town.