Broadstairs mum say she has ‘no idea where to get help’ after burst water main flooded her home and garden

Michelle says she feels there should be help available

A mum-of-three whose home was flooded by a burst water main in Broadstairs this morning (June 8) says she has no idea where to turn for help.

Michelle Halliday lives in Rumfields Road with her three children, aged 17, 14 and 12. It is one of the properties affected after a South Water mains pipe near St George’s school burst in the early hours of this morning.

Water poured in under the door of Michelle’s home, seeping under floorboards and into the electrics. The garden and shed are also flooded.

Self-employed hairdresser Michelle, 40, says despite the incident being caused by the water main she has received no help and is currently without electricity.

She said: “I literally do not know what to do. I woke up at about 6am and saw all the water coming through the doorway. Workmen have lifted my floorboards and firemen have been in and out of the house pumping out the water but everything is still wet, including the electrics.

“I’m scared to turn the electric on as I don’t know whether it is safe. The woman from Southern Water told me to get an electrician in but you have to pay for that and I don’t want any more strange people trooping through my house.

“The garden is flooded and so is the shed with all my bits from the kids growing up, my memories, and the Christmas stuff.

“I’d just had work done in the house and now it is all went under the floorboards where it went through the airbricks and I had fresh plasterwork which is now damp and you can smell it.

“The firemen came through the neighbours to lift the manhole cover up so now I’m worried about sewage as well.

“This is not even the first time it has happened. Years ago the same thing happened and we had to get help from councillor Roz Binks. She is trying to help again but can’t get to us at the moment as the whole road is shut off.

“I feel like there is no-one helping even though Southern water has caused this. Their woman just keeps telling me to get an electrician and that I need insurance, but I can’t find my insurance and now I am feeling really useless and don’t know what to do next.

“I feel like I have been left with all the crap caused by the burst main when someone from Southern Water should be here fixing these problems.”

County councillor Barry Lewis has offered to help assist.

Southern Water says it is dealing with the ‘major burst’ and a team is making necessary repairs.

The firm is currently supplying homes with bottled water.

A statement says: “We’re dealing with a major burst on our water main in the Broadstairs, CT10 area. We’re doing all we can to re-zone supplies while we work as quickly as possible on repairs but customers may experience low pressure or no water.

“Vulnerable customers on our priority service list will be supplied with bottled water. We would like to apologise to anyone affected by this. We will be posting regular updates on social media and on our website.”

Mark Wintringham, head of delivery water process, added: “We’re very sorry about the damage caused to people’s homes and gardens by the burst water main in the Rumfields area of Broadstairs, CT10. The Fire Brigade kindly assisted us in pumping away the flood and our clean up teams from Rainbow International are now assisting in further clean up. We ask customers to contact their own insurers initially and they will then work with our loss adjusters. Once again, we apologise for the damage caused and we do understand the effects of flooding can be more than financial.”

Flooding in Rumfields Road Photo Helen Akers

Kent and Fire Rescue Service sent two crews to the scene this morning to pump the water and make the area safe.

Traffic in the area is currently backed up in Westwood and all surrounding roads. Rumfields Road is closed and there are delays at Nash road to Coffin Corner.

The Westwood Road  is also currently closed eastbound from Northwood Road roundabout near  Westwood Cross. There is a diversion in place along  Northwood Road, Margate Road, Pysons Road, Fairfield Road and the Broadstairs Road.

Many properties in Broadstairs and Ramsgate are currently without water or have very low pressure.


  1. I would guess first phone your insurance company who should point you in the right direction. You would like to think southern water would be giving advice.
    It must be a horrible experience, hope you get sorted soon.

  2. Must admit why aren’t southern water made to pay for the damage you shouldn’t have to claim on your insurance you should claim on theirs , like you do with car insurance. It was their fault they should pay…..good luck to everyone involved in this

  3. It should be the responsibility of southern water. We live in Marshall Crescent & have no water. We have had no communication from anyone to let us know what’s happening or how long we will be without water.

  4. You have to go through your insurance then they sort it out with those responsible just like car insurance..if your not insured I have to think what you have to do .

  5. Anyone affected should, initially, contact their home insurance company. They will liaise with Southern Water or their insurers. I am quite concerned about the poor use of English in this report, e.g. “the garden and shed is also flooded” these are two items so the plural version of the verb should be used, “they ARE flooded”. The house is “currently without electric”. The word is “electricity” – electric is an adjective!

    • Oh dear you are worried about “poor use of English” when a family are worried about their home? How unbelievable,can’t believe what I have read!I hope the Mum of three soon gets the help she needs.

      • I was not commenting on the story, which is sad, but on the poor examples of English usage. One would hope that a trained journalist would be able to use the English language correctly.

  6. Strangely enough, (fronted adverbial) I doubt that the distressed house holder’s first reaction on discovering several centimetres of mud and water in her house was to reach for her copy of “The King’s English” (Fowler and Fowler) or consult Partridge’s “Uses and Abuses of the English Language”
    Most likely she wanted to stop the water getting in, and restore the electric(ity).

    • I was not commenting on this poor woman but on the words written by a journalist, who should be sufficiently well educated to be able to use the language without having to use reference books!

  7. I do not understand when she said she “can’t find her insurance”. This is what Buildings, and Contents insurance is for! The insurance company should appoint a Loss Adjuster, to establish the damage, cost of repairs, and blame! That is, as the damage is caused by a Third Party, the Loss Adjuster will liase with their Insurers as to who pays for the repairs. Best appoint a Chartered Surveyor who will do all this for you, and who should be paid by the householders Insurer!

  8. Household insurance is not prohibitively expensive. If you pay by instalments, it’s only a few quid a week.
    Make sure you’ve got details of your insurer somewhere safe (like email yourself the details so you can read it on your mobile, or set up the details in your contacts list).
    Then, if the worst comes to the worst, and your home suffers serious damage, you will at the very least be able to phone your insurer.
    I have copied all sorts of details about insurance, bank accounts, wills and stuff onto a usb memory stick. This is always on my person.

    ** I’ve just spent 5 minutes on line. I can get basic building and contents (If I need it) insurance for about £10.00 A month.

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