Council denies Barking mum's claim that it took hours to respond to flood

Barking resident blasts flood response

West House resident Lacey Matthews has slammed Barking and Dagenham Council for its response to a flood which saw drainage water flood her hallway, kitchen, bathroom and toilet. - Credit: Lacey Matthews

An angry resident has blasted Barking and Dagenham Council for its response to a flood in her flat - but the authority said it came "shortly after" she reported it.

Lacey Matthews reported flooding at her flat in West House, Loxford Road, Barking, in the early hours of Monday, April 5. 

The 29-year-old said the flooding was in the hallway, kitchen, bathroom and toilet.

"The bath and toilet were full of water; not just water, but drainage water from other people’s toilets. The smell was horrendous."

A carer for her disabled grandad, Lacey had arrived home from Canvey Island at around 11.30pm with her 10-year-old daughter.

Barking resident blasts council's response to flood

Lacey's bath was filled with discoloured water in the aftermath of the flooding. - Credit: Lacey Matthews

She woke up to go to the toilet at 1am and discovered the flooding.

Lacey called the council immediately and was advised that someone would arrive within two hours.

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She said nobody turned up, so she chased at around 2.30am and was warned of another two-hour wait. 

According to the mum-of-one, help did not arrive until 9am.

A spokesperson for Barking and Dagenham Council has disputed the waiting time, arguing that its officers attended "shortly after".

Barking resident blasts flood response

Lacey claimed the flood was caused by a blocked pipe containing nappies, wipes and sanitary towels that are not intended to be flushed down the toilet. - Credit: Lacey Matthews

They were "unable to clear the blockages but passed the job on to a contractor who attended, cleared the blockage and cleaned up".

A contractor came to jet spray the flat, after which Lacey was advised that an industrial clean would also be required.

The council confirmed this took place on the Wednesday: "Officers returned on April 7 as the toilet was overflowing into the flat and had gotten under the lino the tenant has laid (without permission from the council). This was made safe and cleaned out."

But Lacey questioned the quality of the clean, alleging that the officer involved "only had a dirty mop and bucket".

Barking resident blasts council's response to flood

Lacey Matthews alleges that she had to wait eight hours for assistance after reporting a flood at her flat. Barking and Dagenham Council contests this, claiming that its officers attended 'shortly after' her report. - Credit: Lacey Matthews

The carer also said she was told she could lay down lino when she moved in six years ago.

Because of the situation, Lacey sent her daughter to stay with her mum for almost a week - a decision she resented.

The council said that, had she asked, emergency accommodation would have been provided for the pair.

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