PENSIONERS were evacuated in the early hours of the morning after a major flood struck their homes.

Tenants from 14 floors of council-owned Castle Heights in Flint are staying in a hotel while repairmen work around the clock to make safe their water logged-flats.

Twenty-four of the 84 properties were flooded after a pipe burst at 2am yesterday.

Power to the entire building was cut off but restored at 2pm, except for those flats that were damaged by the water.

Evacuated tenants were moved to a community room contained in the building but were later forced to leave because it was being used as a polling station.

Instead they went to the nearby Mountain Park Hotel and more vulnerable tenants to Rhiwlas Care Home.

Tenants were also provided with hot drinks and a fish and chip lunch courtesy of Flintshire Council.

Diabetic Jean Johnson and husband Jack, both 76, who is chairman of the Castle Heights Residents Association and a Flint town councillor, were among those affected.

Jack told the Leader: “The warden knocked on all of our doors and told us the power had gone off.

“Luckily there was not much damage to our flat – just a bit of damp to our cloakroom wall –but we went to the hotel because Jean needs her insulin and a comfortable space.

“I heard from one chap that the water was swilling around his lounge.”

Castle Heights has just been the subject of a £300,000 overhaul of its pipe system.
Flint Castle councillor Ian Roberts was keen to stress the flood was an accident and not the result of a lack of investment on the flats.

He added: “I am very sorry for what has happened but unfortunately accidents do happen.

“It will be particularly distressing for those residents who had just had their properties rewired and got things straight. I would like to thank the residents of Castle Heights for their perseverance and to the council officers who have been working very hard to address the situation.”

Gill Conway, community support services manager at Flintshire Council, was there to oversee the clean-up operation. She added: “This can be a distressing time for an older tenant so my main concern was to make the people here as happy as I could. We made sure everybody was present, identified and had family and friends to visit them.”

A spokesman for council added: “The cause of the flood was the failure of a valve on the mains water pipe that feeds the expansion tank for the central heating boilers.

“Work went on through the night and throughout today, mopping up water, attending to wet electrics and renewing the failed valve.”