Hampden Park residents devastated as homes flooded by burst water pipe

Photo by Kienan Connolly
Photo by Kienan Connolly

Hampden Park residents have been left devastated after a burst pipe sent water flooding into their homes overnight.

People living in the Willingdon Trees area woke up to muddy water gushing through the walls and up through the floor after a water main burst in Hazelwood Avenue in the early hours of this morning (September 19).

Natalie Skeggs said her downstairs was completely flooded

Natalie Skeggs said her downstairs was completely flooded

Linden Close, Mulberry Close, Ash Close, and Walshingham Close are among the roads which have been affected.

Residents in the surrounding areas also complained of low water pressure or no water at all.

This comes just months after a similar incident left homes flooded on June 21.

Major search after Polegate incident

Tricia Stewart, of Linden Close, only got new carpets fitted two weeks ago and had just redecorated her whole downstairs following the first flood.

She said, “It’s like a living nightmare. My husband came downstairs for a cup of tea, the next thing it started pouring in through the wall. I thought he was joking. I was like, ‘not again’!

“It was coming from the floor like a water fountain. It comes in so quick, it’s so scary. Within seconds you see a little trickle and then before you know it it’s up the wall. You don’t have time to move anything.”

Her entire downstairs was flooded in muddy water which she said went up to her ankles. The brand new carpet has been ruined as well as a number of newly-bought wooden furnishings, a sofa, and some electrics.

She said, “I just want to cry right now. It’s going through the motions of how long this is all going to take.

“They don’t seem to have any sympathy for the fact that you are going to live a few months in what I can only describe as a disaster zone.

“I must admit the fire brigade did really well. They were absolutely brilliant.”

Tricia continued, “We are worried they are going to leave us another three months now and leave us in squalor. You wouldn’t have kept an animal the way we had to live.

“You get to the point you can’t sleep at night now because it’s happened so many times. It’s your home at the end of the day.”

She said pipes in the area have burst around six or seven times and the floodwater nearly made it into the house.

Jason Derulo coming to Eastbourne

Neighbour Natalie Skeggs says the water was shin-deep in her downstairs.

She said, “I have had enough now. It’s just heartbreaking, it’s three months since the last one. I was in the middle of painting my hallway.

“I can’t believe it. It’s worse this time. It was bubbling between the walls.”

She said in the past she had received limited help from South East Water. “It’s like hitting your head against a brick wall,” she said, “Nobody wants to help, it’s beyond a joke. They need to do more. The council needs to help.

“I’m on my own with my son. I need help. I’m gutted.”

Natalie said there has been severe damage to appliances and skirting boards and wooden kickboards in the kitchen. She said, “It shouldn’t keep happening. Is it going to happen again? When do I put my flooring down? It’s ridiculous.”

South East Water responds

Responding to the incident, South East Water’s distribution manager Andrew Davin said, “We are sorry to those customers who have been affected by the two bursts on our water pipe network in the Willingdon Trees area of Eastbourne which have happened during the past 24 hours.

“Our team was initially called to a leak in Mulberry Close just before 4pm yesterday (Tuesday 18 September). Bottled water was provided to the 25 properties experiencing low pressure or no water while the water main was repaired. The pipe was fixed at 8.14pm.

“Following this repair we were alerted to a second burst on a six-inch diameter water main in Hazelwood Avenue just before 7am this morning.

“Unfortunately this has caused localised flooding to four properties in Linden Avenue. Our repair crew on site is working with residents and the fire brigade to minimise damage to properties. Once the pipe has been fixed we will work with our customers and specialist advisors to rectify any damaged caused.

“We’re really sorry that this has happened and we are working hard to repair the pipe as quickly as possible. There are currently 25 properties which may have low pressure or no water, and bottled water is again available on site.”

Andrew added, “We know how disruptive burst water mains can be and unfortunately they do happen on our network, which has 9,000 miles of underground pipeline transporting 517 million litres of water a day.”