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Norfolk woman does not want return to flooded home

Diana Osborne pictured in her house in Felthorpe which was flooded after a pipe burst in her attic.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Diana Osborne pictured in her house in Felthorpe which was flooded after a pipe burst in her attic. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2010

A disabled woman who was flooded out of her Felthorpe bungalow just before Christmas says she has been left feeling unwelcome in her own home.

Diana Osborne, 62, who suffers from arthritis, rang Wherry Housing Association on December 20, to say that she had no hot or running water.

But on December 23 the hot and running water returned to her home and, she said, “half the heavens opened up” and she was left in a flooded bungalow.

The home in Schoolfields, Felthorpe, is now uninhabitable so Wherry Housing Association has put her up at a bedsit with just her dog for company in Aylsham Road, Norwich. Ms Osborne said she had been told that it would be between six and eight weeks before she could return to the bungalow, but, because of what happened, she does not want to go back.

“They are drying it out at the moment with a machine. They will have to put in new carpets and maybe a new ceiling,” she added.

“I don’t want to come back after all this though, it has been terrible. I went into the bed and breakfast on Aylsham Road the Wednesday before Christmas and then to a friend’s on Boxing Day. I then went to the Isle of Wight for a few days, but that was a waste of time because I felt too stressed out.”

Ms Osborne is more frustrated because she feels the problems would not have happened if her local housing authority had sent out someone to fix the water supply just days before, when she originally reported the problem.

But she claims that she was told by the association that it was just frozen pipes and, therefore not an emergency, so they could not send anybody out to fix it.

She said: “This has all happened because no one came out the first time I rang up.

“I was told by the maintenance man who came out on Wednesday (December 22) that the problem had been found and it was something to do with the top of the tank and not frozen pipes. He said if they had come out straightaway it could have been solved in about 10 minutes. I rang Wherry Housing Association three or four times and they said they didn’t class it as an emergency so couldn’t come out straightaway.”

However, Mark Jones, managing director at Wherry Housing Association, countered: “We immediately sent a plumber once Mrs Osborne reported her leak, and relocated her for her safety and comfort. We are now working hard to get her back home as soon as possible.

“The severe weather conditions have led to an extremely high volume of calls about heating and water problems this winter. Our repairs team has been working flat out to prioritise and resolve any difficulties our residents are facing.”

Have burst pipes caused you major problems this winter? Contact reporter David Bale on 01603 772429 or on email at david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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