“WE WON’T leave” – those are the words of one couple determined to stay in their flooded Buckskin home.
Tina Carrington and her partner John O’Brien are adamant that they will not leave the bungalow where they live with their three dogs, in Exmoor Close. The couple were advised to evacuate their home by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council on February 15.
Contaminated floodwater first started appearing in their three-bedroom property on February 20 and during the evening of March 2, floodwater started flowing into two bedrooms and soaking their carpets.
But the couple are refusing to go.
Tina, 52, told The Gazette: “We have been totally breached this time, and it is lifting the tiles up in my dining room.
“I went to my daughter’s home to do some washing, and it had come under the doors into the bedrooms. My neighbour came round on Sunday, and we mopped for four hours and by 4am it had started to subside. If we had been gone, it would have been flooded.
“I am exhausted and I am not sleeping because of the stress. I am normally quite a strong person but I have had a few meltdowns. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.”
The grandmother-of-one added: “I am having to go out every other day, and I can only have shallow baths. Our shower isn’t working because of the water pressure and we have had to live in our pyjamas to save the washing and take it to my daughter’s in Popley.
“We have been told not to flush the toilet or use the washing machine but on the other side of the estate we don’t think they have had any leaflets telling them to do the same.”
The couple follow a vigorous cleaning routine to keep the property safe by disinfecting their boots when they come back to the house, cleaning their hands with anti-bacterial gel and disinfecting their tiled and wooden flooring every two hours.
Reports in the national press have suggested that the floodwater in Buckskin is the most contaminated in the whole of the country, because it is mixed with sewage water.
But Tina and John have taken precautionary measures to try to keep the contaminated floodwater out by barricading their doors with sandbags. John, 47, who works as a warehouse team leader at Midland Chilled Foods, said: “I open the door and I don’t know what I am going to find.
“The water can come in at any time and we are on standby.”