Homes and gardens in Stow Bridge have been ‘wrecked’ by flooding after a water main in the village burst three times in less than a month.
Residents of The Causeway have not had the merriest of Christmases, as four families have been forced to leave their homes – some on Christmas Eve following the pipe bursting on the second occasion.
Villager Stephanie Dent, who has been affected by the flooding, said herself and her neighbours have been shocked at the devastation that this has caused.
Mrs Dent said: “One family who live a couple of doors down from me have lost everything after the second burst. But worse than that, they care for an elderly relative who has learning difficulties, who, because of them having to leave their home, has had to move into residential care.
“She is very distressed and doesn’t understand what is happening and why she has been put there.”
Mrs Dent added that this family has been moved to five different temporary accommodations since Christmas Eve.
“We think it will be months, rather than days, before they are home, and that is just one of the families.
“One of the others had young children, and had to move on Christmas Eve, and the children wondered if Father Christmas would findthem,” Mrs Dent said.
She said after each time the pipe burst, it has taken water supplier Anglian Water three hours to come out.
“We had to divert traffic and look after ourselves – getting sandbags. If they had got to us quicker, it would not have got as far as the houses. We’ve had no water, it’s shocking. And we believe it’s going to happen again.”
A spokeswoman for Anglian Water said: “We’re extremely sorry customers on The Causeway have been flooded by a burst water pipe over the past month.
“This is not up to our usual high standards and Anglian Water engineers are investigating the cause of the bursts. We will be installing a new smart valve on Monday to have better manage the water pressure in the area and carrying out further work to reduce the risk of this happening again.
“Once again we are very sorry for any upset caused. Our insurers have offered alternative accommodation nearby to all of the residents affected.
“Our loss adjusters visited the residents on Monday and our priority is to help get things back to normal as soon as possible.”
Despite the devastation, the sense of community in the village has remained throughout.
Resident Paul McCaffrey said: “If one positive can be taken from the events, it is how the residents of The Causeway pulled together, came out and helped each other. It was very warming to realise that we are there for each other in a crisis.”