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Mum hits out in flooding wrangle
10:08am Thursday 12th July 2012 in Keighley
A mum has hit out in a wrangle over her flooded home.
Julie Hastings said she had been left struggling to get help since she and her 13-year-old son were forced out of the semi-detached house in Heritage Way, Oakworth, last week. She said no official organisation would take responsibility for their plight.
She said: “I don’t want to be a problem for anyone, all I want is to be living in my home. But I have no idea when we can return.”
Julie, now living in a bed and breakfast, said the flooring on the ground floor of the house had been wrecked after water began pouring in on June 22. She said further flooding last Thursday and Friday made matters worse, and that repairs cannot begin until the flow of water is halted.
It is believed the water may be coming from a broken drain, which was discovered buried four feet down under a dry stone wall at the top of her garden. But both Bradford Council and Yorkshire Water say it is not their problem.
“On the ground floor it’s now down to the foundations,” she said. “The laminate, chipboard and insulation layers have all been taken up and it’s just breeze blocks underneath. The doors and skirting boards have been removed. I managed to move smaller things upstairs but didn’t have time to take larger items so my leather settees and kitchen appliances are caked in dirt.”
Mrs Hastings said the water was coming from the direction of James Street where residents got together last weekend to clear its gullies. She said when she called Bradford Council’s highways department she was told there was nothing it could do because this street was unadopted.
Yorkshire Water says the problem is due to surface water running down James Street and nothing to do with its drainage sewers.
Julie said she unsuccessfully asked for help from Sanctuary Housing, which had helped her buy the house.
Ian Bairstow, Bradford Council strategic director for environment and sport, said: “We’re sorry for the problems and apologise if she feels she was in any way treated inappropriately by a council representative. The responsibility for the drains and sewers leading from her home falls to Yorkshire Water and, as James Street is unadopted, the responsibility for cleaning out the gullies rests with the owners of the land and property, not the council.
“We hope the issues are resolved as soon as possible and that Mrs Hastings is able to move back in.
"We urge all householders who live on unadopted streets to ensure the gullies which drain the street are cleared regularly.”
A Yorkshire Water spokesman said: “We're obviously sorry for anyone who is flooded, and we're working hard to try and help Mrs Hastings.
“Our investigations so far have shown the problem appears to be a result of surface water running down James Street and overwhelming the local gully, rather than a Yorkshire Water sewer issue.
“The council has been notified and it is looking into the issue.”
A spokesman for Sanctuary Housing said: "Although we arranged the building insurance on Mrs Hastings’ behalf, it is her responsibility to make any claim directly with the insurers. We have every sympathy for Mrs Hastings and would encourage her to take the matter up with the insurers at the earliest opportunity."