'Absolutely devastating' - families forced into temporary accommodation after homes flooded
PUBLISHED: 06:30 12 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:18 12 October 2019
Families living in a social housing community have seen their homes devastated by flooding and are now facing life in temporary accommodation while repairs are done.
As the region experienced torrential rain, flood water cascaded into six homes on Pikeman Place in Thorpe St Andrew, with the families inside left to contend with "shin-high" pools inside the homes.
The homes have been devastated to the point that many of the residents have been left to sofa surf or find family and friends to stay with for the week.
On Friday afternoon, tenants said environmental health officers from Broadland District Council had carried out investigations and recommended they evacuate their homes and seek temporary accommodation.
And housing association Flagship Housing says it has provided dehumidifiers and offered temporary accommodation.
Carole Roughley, one of the tenants, said: "I've had enough - I feel like moving. This is not the first flood. I've tried to get house insurance two years ago and they would not come near me.
"I felt like a headless chicken on Sunday, it was awful. I just do not know what to do with myself."
Another tenant, who did not wish to be named, said the flood water had completely ruined her furniture, cooker and white goods, that since Sunday she had stayed with three separate friends spread across the county and that tenants were being expected to cover the costs of destroyed possessions.
The woman, who lives with her 10-year-old son, said: "It is absolutely devastating for all of us. Some of us have young children and others are vulnerable older people and we just feel let down.
"The biggest disappointment for us is that drainage has been a huge issue in the estate for a long time, something we have raised with Flagship countless times. So a problem we all knew about has led to six homes being flooded because it wasn't addressed."
The homes started to flood at around lunchtime on Sunday, October 6, and tenants immediately contacted Flagship's emergency repair hot line. However, it was not until around 2pm the following day the group responded.
The resident added: "We all live in these homes because we have low incomes and vulnerabilities and we just do not feel like we have been looked after at all.
"It feels to us all that Flagship just does not care. Some of us have lost basically everything and are being told its their responsibility to replace and repair everything that has gone wrong.
"If any of the homes had electrical faults at the time of the flooding it could very well have been much, much worse."
A spokesman for Flagship said: "We are aware and sorry to have heard of the troubles the tenants at Pikeman Place have experienced as a result of extremely heavy rain over the weekend.
"On Monday, visits took place to carry out safety assessments and our housing officers have been in contact with those affected. We have arranged a survey of the drainage systems and will recommend the best course of action to prevent reoccurrence, which may include a more permanent solution to help cope with extreme weather conditions.
"A waste disposal service has been arranged for our customers and where needed we've provided dehumidifiers to help speed up the drying process.
"A visit has taken place to assess the damage and we are in the process of offering the option of temporary accommodation to our customers so that remedial works can take place. "We encourage all of our customers to take out contents insurance in the event of any damage to personal belongings."
Broadland District Council was unable to provide comment.