Finsbury Park flooding: 70 households forced to spend Christmas in temporary accommodation
PUBLISHED: 12:35 18 December 2019 | UPDATED: 12:36 18 December 2019
Seventy households are unable to spend Christmas in their homes due to the devastation caused by the Finsbury Park flooding in October.
Thames Water says 51 are in long-term temporary accommodation, 16 are in short-term lets because their homes are almost ready or because they are looking for long-term places, two families are in hotels out of choice and one couple are at home but about to be moved out.
The flooding on October 8 was caused by a burst pipe in Queen's Drive, with water gushing down Brownswood Road and beyond to the Kings Crescent Estate. It devastated basement properties and cut out water for thousands of people.
Thames Water gave each of the 70 households £5,000, separate to any insurance claims, for the inconvenience.
One family-of-five forced out of their home following the Finsbury Park flooding have been moved four times and are now packed into a tiny two-bed flat.
Monica Aktas, who lives with her husband Mehmet and their three young children, said: "We're squeezed into a two-bedroom flat in London Fields. We have to drive back to Queen's Drive every weekday to take my two youngest children to nursery.
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"My husband has had to leave his job because he has to pick up the children.
"It's very stressful. We have no presents and no Christmas tree this year. It's just a nightmare."
In the last two months they have also been in a hotel in Edmonton Green and a one-bedroom place in Amhurst Road.
"I was sleeping with two children in one double bed and my husband in another single bed with my son," said Monica, who has no idea how long it will be before they can move back home.
Brian and Margaret Bicknell, 74 and 69, have been living in their basement flat on the Kings Crescent Estate despite work not yet being finished. Now Hackney Council has told them they need to move out for at least a week while it carries out repairs.
"I've had two heart attacks and Margaret has had a stroke and this is bringing on something bad," said Brian. "We can't sleep at night. We just spent £100 on shopping for Christmas and now we need to clear out the fridge and freezer. We haven't got a clue where we're spending Christmas."
Thames Water said: "We're very sorry for the distress this has caused and are working hard to ensure everyone impacted can get their lives back to normal as quickly as possible."