Stevenage pensioner blames inadequate drainage after her house floods for fourth time

Dorothy Melhuish outside her house with the carpet damaged by the flood

Dorothy Melhuish outside her house with the carpet damaged by the flood - Credit: Archant

An elderly woman whose house has now been flooded four times blames inadequate drainage for the repeated problem.

Dorothy Melhuish with sandbags by her front door

Dorothy Melhuish with sandbags by her front door - Credit: Archant

An elderly woman whose house has now been flooded four times blames inadequate drainage for the repeated problem.

Dorothy Melhuish has lived at her home in Kymswell Road, Stevenage, for the past 57 years and was badly flooded after a heavy downpour on Friday.

The 86-year-old, who has lived alone since her late husband John died in 1997, is in constant fear that her house will flood whenever it rains, as she has been affected four times since a lay-by was built by Herts County Council 25 years ago.

Mrs Melhuish’s grandson, Rob, spoke to the Comet on her behalf.


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The 26-year-old said: “The house was severely flooded during the storms last week.

“She is not well and this is distressing her even more. She has a panic attack each time it rains and ends up trying to put sandbags in front of the door in the middle of the night but she’s an old woman and she physically can’t.

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“In all it will cost around £10,000 and take months to get back to its original state. She will have to replace all her carpets downstairs, redecorate the hall and possible re-plaster some of the room.

“It is a massive upheaval to have to leave her home and have everything replaced. There are a lot of sentimental things in her house that have been destroyed.

“We’ve been telling the council for years that it’s been a problem but they just come and tell us the drainage is adequate – which it clearly isn’t.”

A spokesman for Herts County Council said: ““We’re sorry to hear about these flooding incidents during Friday’s exceptionally heavy rainfall. “We would encourage residents to report any incidents of flooding or debris on the highway that they believe to be hazardous to us through our online fault reporting system at www.hertsdirect.org/highways

“Hertfordshire County Council is responsible for the maintenance of gully drains on publicly maintained highways. The frequency with which our contractor Ringway routinely cleans individual gullies is based on observed silt levels, information from customers and inspector reports. We will also deal with reported instances of flooding on the highway, which may mean additional cleaning of specific gullies if they are leading to flooding on the highway.

“More information available here on gully cleaning: www.hertsdirect.org/services/transtreets/highways/hhonlineservices/gullydrains.

“There is further highways information concerning flooding at www.hertsdirect.org/services/transtreets/highways/hhonlineservices/flood/.”

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