Clean-up work is continuing after floodwater poured into a family home "destroying" possessions.
Griff Wyatt, 48, was attending a funeral when he received text messages warning about rising river levels back home at Skenfrith in Monmouthshire.
"Within the next six hours the water was up to our knees in the kitchen," he said.
About 25 homes were evacuated in the village following flooding and a power cut after heavy rain on Saturday.
On Monday evening, residents were advised to evacuate 34 properties near to the River Wye in Monmouth as levels rose.
Mr Wyatt, a father of two, described the flooding as "absolutely devastating" for his family and the wider community.
"People have lost their cars and our house is pretty much destroyed downstairs; and now we have got to start a clean-up operation," he told BBC Radio Wales' Breakfast programme.
He has ripped up carpets and thrown out sofas and clothes, with damage also caused to kitchen appliances and a piano.
"We tried to move some things upstairs but the floodwater was rising so fast," he said.
"And when a boat pulled up alongside the window to get us out... it was quite an emotional time."
His insurers have offered alternative accommodation but the family is hoping they can live in caravans in the garden while the house is sorted.
Elsewhere, flash floods washed away railway tracks and halted direct train services between north and south Wales.
People also had to be rescued by firefighters from seven properties at Mill Green near the River Teme in Knighton, Powys, on Saturday.
The Met Office said more than 4in (100mm) of rain fell in 24 hours in some places.
A recovery operation led by Monmouthshire council is under way to help people affected by flooding in Skenrith and Monmouth.
The river level on the River Wye reached its peak at 5.9m (19ft 4in), almost twice the average level of about 3.18m.
Although further rain is expected later this week, it is not forecast to be as heavy and is not anticipated to cause any flooding issues.
Council leader Peter Fox said he was "overwhelmed by the efforts" of staff and others who had gone beyond the call of duty.
"We understand this is just the start of cleaning up and recouping all that's been lost," he added.