Six-week wait fear for flood-hit Flintshire flats tenants to return

Reporter:

Matt Jones

IT COULD be up to six weeks before all tenants can move back to their homes following a major flood, it has been claimed.


Scores of elderly residents were evacuated in the early hours of Thursday morning after a burst pipe caused major flooding in 24 flats over 14 floors at the council-owned Castle Heights in Flint.


Ex-serviceman Jim Roberts, 72, was evacuated to the nearby Mountain Park Hotel with other pensioners.


He said: “This is the ninth time I have had water come down the walls. I’m hoping this time it will be sorted for good.


“This was the worst it has been. It was quite shocking to wake up in the middle of the night to this. It was like a monsoon in my flat. All my possessions are ruined.
“It is awful. The walls and ceiling are ruined. I would like to be back as soon as possible but it could be four to six weeks.”


Mr Roberts praised the work of Care Link staff and wardens who helped throughout the ordeal and staff at the hotel where he is gearing up for an extended stay.


The flats were recently the subject of a £300,000 overhaul of the pipe system, but council bosses say the flood was caused by a failure of a valve on the mains water pipe feeding the expansion tank for the central heating boiler.


Castle Heights Residents’ Association chairman Jack Johnson, 76, who is also a town councillor, and county councillor Ian Roberts plan to meet residents and Flintshire Council officials to discuss the matter.


Cllr Johnson said Flintshire Council staff had done a “fantastic” job looking after the residents.


He said: “Most people are back, there are two or three still at the hotel and other people have gone to their relations.


“The residents have been holding up, very, very well.


“At the hotel they could not do enough for us. It was like the ‘Blitz spirit’ with some of them. All the staff have been great and have been sorting people out.


“There is still a smell of must in the flats. They are drying flats out. It was an accident and we are hoping to put things in place so it does not happen again.”


Cllr Roberts said: “All the repair work has now been done but we are now left with the aftermath.

“There is still a considerable amount of work to do but I can assure residents that Flintshire Council is working very hard to bring people’s properties back to what they were before.”


A Flintshire Council spokesman confirmed all the repairs had been completed and most of the affected tenants had returned

“However, three residents have been unable to return to their flats as their properties have not yet dried sufficiently to allow power to be reconnected,” he added.


“We are checking the condition of these flats on a regular basis and anticipate that power will be reconnected later this week.”

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