Family yet to return home after flood

Laura Bagshaw A FAMILY forced to abandon their Southtown home after torrential rain triggered massive flooding in September 2006 have yet to move back in - almost two years on.

Laura Bagshaw

A FAMILY forced to abandon their Southtown home after torrential rain triggered massive flooding in September 2006 have yet to move back in - almost two years on.

Colin and Elaine Lunn, their three-year-old daughter Georgia and pet Jack Russell Bonnie have had nine temporary homes in just 18 months after two feet of floodwater and sewage poured through their home.

In May last year, the Lunn family thought their ordeal was finally over when they returned to their Anson Road home after it had been dried out and refurbished.

However, just two weeks later the couple discovered their home had not been dried out properly - black spots of mould appeared on all the ground floor walls and quickly spread to walls upstairs.

Mr and Mrs Lunn were thrown back to square one - with all the new plaster stripped back to the brickwork and a new fitted kitchen ripped out.

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They were forced to move out

yet again last May and one year

on they are still out of their gutted home - waiting for insurance company Direct Line to give the go-ahead to refurbish the property once again.

Mrs Lunn, 34, said: “It is so frustrating. We have moved nine times and we have just had enough. It is stressing us out. My husband suffers with mental health problems and all this is making it worse. All we want is our home back. We just want some stability in our lives.”

Another drying company was brought in and the house was given the all-clear in January this year. However, despite several phone calls to her insurance company Mrs Lunn says they are still waiting for Direct Line to give them the go ahead.

“We have a quote from a builder and he will do the job, we just need that call,” said Mrs Lunn. “I have run up a phone bill of £78 calling people trying to sort this and enough is enough,” she added.

Since September 2006 the family have lived on campsites in Fritton, Belton and Scratby and homes in Yarmouth, Gorleston and now Bradwell.

Mrs Lunn said constantly moving had put the family under stress, particularly after Mr Lunn, 40, was forced to give up work about three years ago following ill health. Mrs Lunn said: “I was training to be a driving instructor but that has all been put on hold until we get our home back. Christmases haven't been what they should and we've had to have birthday parties for Georgia at friends' houses.”

Recalling the dark September day when her home was flooded Mrs Lunn said: “All of a sudden sewage water started coming from the toilet into the bathroom and kitchen. Then it started coming through the front door. We were absolutely gutted - we lost all of our belongings.”

And it was a second blow for the couple whose year had already been struck with misfortune after they were burgled in July and thieves stole a television, DVD player and jewellery.

Thousands of homes across the borough were hit by the downpour with hotspots in Southtown around Anson, Wolesley and Lichfield Roads and Northgate Street in Yarmouth and surrounding roads.

While many residents spent Christmas in 2006 out of their homes the Mercury understands the majority - if not all people displaced by the flooding - had returned home.

The Mercury contacted Direct Line about the Lunn's situation and yesterday at about midday received a reply that area managers had got involved and the situation had been “resolved.”

A spokeswoman said: “We apologise for the delay in the resolution of Mr and Mrs Lunn's claim for flood damage.

“We have authorised the remaining building work to go ahead, and have also agreed to cover the cost of the couple's alternative accommodation, water and heating bills, and call charges.

“We have also arranged for a Property Insurance Advisor to visit the Lunn's to ensure that the matter is being dealt with to their satisfaction.”