Ixworth residents have been left ‘devastated’ by their second flood in a month, and the likelihood of not being able to spend Christmas at home this year.
Many were still living in emergency accommodation when, in the early hours of Saturday morning, a water main burst, flooding their homes in Peddars Close and causing tens of thousands of pounds of damage.
Barbara Orpin, 66, was the first to realise there was a problem, rushing out of her house at around 2.45am to alert neighbours.
She said: “The toilet was gargling, that’s what woke me up. When I opened my curtains to look out the window, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had to look twice to know I wasn’t seeing things. I shot out the back as water was coming through the front door. It was in in no time, right through the bungalow.”
She added: “I’m just numb. Really it’s numbed me completely. When I saw the water, I just thought ‘what am I going to do now’. There’s this awful feeling that we’ve been left out on a limb.”
Nicola Barwick, whose family only returned home on Friday, said she was ‘livid’ at having to go through the ordeal a second time.
“It was black, contaminated water so everything in my house has to go, furniture, beds, all my son’s toys,” she said, adding that a table which used to belong to her best friend, who died eight years ago, was among items ruined.
She is also concerned about the health of her puppy, Dexter. “He’s eight weeks old and has only had one injection so this water could be deadly for him,” she said.
When her home flooded last month, the cost of the damage was estimated at £3,000. This time, it could be more than £25,000.
She said: “This time it’s 10 times worse. I’ve lost things that can’t be replaced. To be honest, I just don’t know what to do this time. I don’t even know where we’ll be living at Christmas.”
Her neighbour Emily Roberts, 25, has suffered similar damage to her home.
She said: “I don’t care about money, it’s more the sentimental value of it all, and the fact that my daughter’s got no clothes. We’ve literally lost every single item. I’m devastated.”
Emma Staples, spokeswoman for Anglian Water, said: “We recognise this is the second time a burst water main in Peddars Close has caused flooding to homes and we are extremely sorry for that.
“We are doing everything we can to help customers. A team of engineers are carrying out the repair and loss adjusters are already on site speaking to those affected and offering support. One of our senior managers also visited at the weekend to apologise and explain the next steps.
“Our priority is to help customers get things back to normal and look at what can be done to prevent this happening again in future, including replacing the section of main that serves the close.”