There really has been only one issue dominating life in Suffolk this week - the impact of Storm Babet and the efforts to come to terms with it.

Properties across a swathe of Suffolk, from Framlingham to Needham Market, were flooded and lives were put on hold.

Millions of pounds of damage was caused and some people may not be able to move back into their homes this year.

In Ipswich a large part of the town was without water for about 24 hours - and across the county there were reports of power cuts which added to the general misery for residents.

The weekend was miserable for thousands of residents but communities pulled together to help each other out and generally local authorities did seem to react very promptly - even though the worst of the weather happened just when they would be expecting to wind down for the week.

The Anglian Water engineers who worked around the clock to get the Ipswich pumping station up and running within 24 hours deserve special praise - the conditions in the plant during the middle of Friday night must have been pretty miserable.

However in any incidents like this there will be things that, in hindsight, authorities will recognise that they could have handled better.

In Ipswich there was widespread grumbling about Anglian Water's communications - households simply didn't know when their water would be back, supermarkets soon sold out of bottled water.

The company published a map online showing that about a third of the town was affected by the problem at the pumping station, but insisted that only 5% of the 60,000 homes in Ipswich lost water - a figure that was widely disbelieved by residents and local councillors.

Of course a major incident like this is always likely to spark confusion but in an era of instant communication and social media, those involved in delivering services need to understand the importance of keeping people up to date with what is happening.

It is also right that the Environment Agency and the Met Office should consider whether the right level of warning was issued - especially in the 48 hours before Storm Babet hit us.

Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter was caught in the eye of Storm Babet. He and his family had to be rescued from their car in Otley on Friday afternoon and spend a night in a hotel.

Ipswich Star: Vehicles in the main car park in Framlingham were seriously damaged by the floods.Vehicles in the main car park in Framlingham were seriously damaged by the floods. (Image: Charlotte Bond)

His mother Carole, who helps run his constituency office, had to spend the night in the first-floor rooms of the office in Framlingham because of rising water levels.

But the following day he was out and about meeting constituents and seeing what challenges they are facing.

That's just what a local MP is for - they might not be able to do anything practical on the day, but Dr Poulter was able to see what was happening in his constituency and pass that on to ministers in London.

Of course  having the Environment Secretary as the neighbouring MP should have helped in getting Suffolk's message across - but Therese Coffey didn't appear to be putting herself about in the county at the weekend.

And both her constituency office and the Environment Department press office were dodging questions about her response to the crisis in Suffolk.

It remains to be seen whether she will cross her constituency boundary the next time she's back in Suffolk Coastal.

Now the clean-up is under way. Most people affected should find that their insurance will cover their losses - but nothing will compensate them for the strain and worry of the last few days.

Local authorities, government agencies and ministers themselves will have to look at what went right and wrong - and what, if anything, can be done to prevent a recurrence.

And it is absolutely vital that in these discussions the people at the sharp end - those whose homes and workplaces were inundated at the weekend  - should be at the centre of their planning.