Vulnerable residents' heating cut off by floods

Phillip Gardiner and Di-Ann Watt
Phillip Gardiner and Di-Ann Watt said they just wanted a hot shower

Residents of a block of flats in Hastings - some with severe health issues - have had no heating or hot water for three days after their gas meters were flooded.

One mother said her baby's lips were blue from the cold.

People living in the flats in Harold Road said they had received no support from Orbit, their housing association.

Orbit said the welfare of its customers was its "absolute priority" and it would be visiting everyone in the block on Sunday to identify whether they needed support.

The housing association said it would liaise with residents "regarding their individual needs".

The stairwell of the property, where the gas meters are located, was flooded with about 6ft (182 cm) of water as Storm Ciarán hit on Wednesday.

Heavy rain on Saturday flooded the area again.

Many people living in the block have not been able to access hot water or heating since Wednesday.

Kelly, a resident, has the lung condition pleurisy, which she said had been made worse by the lack of heating.

"There's a lot of people in this building that have health issues," she said. "I think it's disgusting to leave it so long without even offering any form of heat."

Heather Scott in her flat with her bed behind her
Heather Scott has had to move in with her father, meaning she has not had access to specialist equipment that she needs for her disability

Heather Scott, who is registered blind and uses a wheelchair, has gone to stay with her father as her health condition means the cold severely affects her joints.

Being away from home means she does not have full access to personal care.

"It's imperative that I go back home," she said.

Elisse Philimore said her two young children were currently staying with their father.

She said due to the current conditions, she was "not too happy about them coming back, to be quite honest."

Orbit said it would be "offering fan heaters and the option of temporary accommodation for those most in need".

The housing association said it would "continue to be contactable for additional support and encourage our customers to get in touch directly with any concerns they may have".

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