Distraught homeowners who offered their son a safe place to stay after he was evacuated from the British Virgin Islands due to terrifying storms now face spending Christmas apart – after their own property was ruined by a flood.

Helen Titchener and her husband Graeme were away when their neighbours called them back to their Station Road, Little Kimble, home “urgently” because their house had been flooded.

The couple say the flood happened when water pipes in their home burst and fear work that was being carried out by Thames Water in their road to replace old iron pipes with new plastic ones has caused it.

Mrs Titchener, who is a nurse, said: “Thames Water teams have been carrying out a lot of work in the road outside our home since the end of July.

“We’ve had a plumber out and he said the water pressure has increased when they did all this work outside and the pressure has burst our pipes.

“Thames Water should have told us this work would affect our pipes. If they had, we would have got a plumber out to come and check them immediately. This shouldn’t have happened. If it was our fault, we would accept it but we don’t think it is.”

The couple, who have spent months renovating their property, now face spending Christmas away from their home as work to repair the damage could take up to six months.

Mrs Titchener added: “It is completely awful. We can’t live in our own home. Two-thirds of our home is flooded - we have been completely devastated.

“This is the best it is going to get because everything is going to have to be ripped out and it will take at least six months. The floors and the walls have erupted because of the water and we can’t cook or do anything here.

“At the moment, it is like living in a factory because we have these huge heavy duty fans on all the time to try and dry things out. We can barely hear each other over the sounds of the fans.

“My son lives in the BVI and he was evacuated recently with all the floods there. Of course I said to him straight away, ‘come home’ – but now I've had to tell him he can’t come home because this house is flooded as well.

“It is awful – everything has gone to pot.”

Mrs Titchener’s workplace – Wycombe Abbey School – has offered to put the couple up while the repair work is carried out.

A statement from Thames Water said: “We’ve been in regular contact with the customer since she first called us [on Wednesday], and are now investigating the issue. We’ve checked the water pressure in the area, and tests have shown it’s at a normal level, and we’ll continue to work with Mrs Titchener as part of our investigation.”

The work is expected to be completed by November and Thames Water say it is the first time they have received a high pressure complaint since the beginning of the scheme.