Residents and their neighbours baled out flooded houses after a river overflowed.
The Gables Nursing Home and several houses in Ifield have been flooded and many have been left without power since the early hours of this morning (Tuesday December 24).
The Environment Agency issued an amber flood alert for the area near River Mole yesterday (December 23) warning that the river level was rising quickly.
Steve Haire, SECAmb clinical operations manager and incident commander, said the power was switched off as soon as the area became flooded to ensure residents’ safety.
Neil Lambert, of River Mead, Ifield, said his house had not flooded but he and neighbours were helping remove water from other houses using buckets.
He said: “The whole community pulled together. Guys from up past Royal Oak, people from Ifield Green, River Mead. It’s Christmas isn’t it.
“I’ve got no power so I would just be sat at home doing nothing if I wasn’t here.”
Malcolm Skeggs, of Delrogue Road, Ifield, also came to help.
He said: “I walked down towards the shops and someone said, ‘Oh it’s gone down the other end’ so I came down, picked up a bucket and got stuck in.”
UK Power Networks said 6,903 properties in Sussex have lost power due to the storm.
A spokesperson said: “In the South East which was hit harder, engineers are tackling the incidents which affect high numbers of customers first, but if your power is still off at midnight it’s likely you will be off on Christmas Day so you should consider making contingency plans now.
“Wherever possible, UK Power Networks is planning to buy Christmas dinners for households if they are still without supply tomorrow.”
UK Power Networks is appealing for any restaurants or pubs in the East of England and South East who have spare tables on Christmas Day, to email SDCSupportContact@ukpowernetworks.co.uk or call 0800 028 0959.