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.”
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.