Blurton OAPs evacuated as water floods homes
TWO pensioners are still living in emergency accommodation – four days after being evacuated from their homes when water flooded in.
Neighbours Kathleen Walker, aged 78, and Iris Brooking, aged 92, were forced out of their bungalows in Blurton and into a nearby hotel after water from a blocked drain cascaded into both their houses.
They now face an anxious wait to find out if they will be able to move back in.
Former nurse Kathleen said she had been terrified after seeing water rush over the wall separating her home from Old Mill Pond on Friday. In all, seven council bungalows were affected.
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Kathleen said: "I didn't see anything until a neighbour gestured behind the house and there was a river of water running by.
"My family came over and we requested sandbags, but it had happened before and I assumed it wouldn't get much worse."
But when she woke on Saturday, there was around seven inches of water in her bedroom, kitchen and lounge.
Kathleen's son-in-law Sam Ward, of Rough Close, said he was disappointed by Stoke-on-Trent City Council's response to the crisis.
The self-employed businessman added: "We asked for sandbags and they said there weren't any and then we were given some. There was a lot of confusion.
"The fire brigade were called in and they listed it as a number one priority."
The two women were put in emergency accommodation on Saturday.
Iris, whose home was not as badly affected as Kathleen's, said they were upset that repair work had not started when they visited their homes yesterday.
She added: "We were told it would be made dry and when we got here, it was all still wet and smelt terrible."
Her daughter, Sue Rushton, aged 59, of Trentham Road, said: "The carpets hadn't even been taken out. We ended up doing it ourselves. It comes to something when the most vulnerable members of our society are left to deal with it on their own."
Sue, a full time carer, said it had been a stressful time for her mum. She added: "I can only worry about what would have happened to both my mum and Kathleen had they not had family."
Councillor Janine Bridges, the council's cabinet member for housing, neighbourhoods and community safety, said: "The tenants affected by the flooding were moved to temporary accommodation.
"Kier staff have worked quickly to install dehumidifiers to remove the remaining water from the homes and full property inspections will take place today. "A decision will be taken about whether the tenants can return to their homes in the short term and, if not, suitable alternatives will be arranged."
A Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: "There was a blocked drain and it had overflowed, affecting seven bungalows where elderly residents were staying. We managed the initial emergency before the council attended."