Elderly 'in limbo' after being evacuated from flooded homes


Tenants were evacuated from Laburnum Grove in Thetford after their rooms became flooded - Credit: Denise Bradley

Elderly people evacuated from a sheltered housing scheme more than a week ago do not know when they will be able to return home.

Fifteen tenants were moved out of Laburnum Grove in Thetford after parts of the complex on Elm Road became flooded.

Water and sewage entered residents' apartments on Tuesday, July 27, after 5cm of rain fell in half an hour causing widespread flooding across the town.  

They included the home of 89-year-old Velma Day, whose son Larry, 64, said: "It has severely affected her mental health, she is confused and scared.

"The life of the residents has been focused solely on Laburnum Grove over the past year and a half because of the Covid restrictions providing them with a known safe environment. They are now separated from their friends and in limbo."

Velma Day

Velma Day, one of the residents evacuated from Laburnum Grove in Thetford after flooding - Credit: Larry Day

Mrs Day, who has been moved to a home in Swaffham, said: "It's making me ill is all I can say, really ill."

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Helen Marjoram, head of housing at social landlord Samphire Homes, said: “We’re in the process of assessing the damage and any repair works needed – unfortunately, it’s too early to tell exact timescales.

"We know this is a difficult time for our tenants and we’re sorry for any inconvenience. We’re in regular contact with them and will update them as soon as we know.


Residents do not know when they will be able to return to Laburnum Grove, which is rated outstanding by the care watchdog - Credit: Denise Bradley

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Anglian Water said: “When we have periods of intense rainfall, it can cause standing water to build up on hard surfaces because it can’t drain away fast enough. Surface water flooding like this, is a bit like a bath plughole and it takes time for the water to drain away.  

"This was the cause of the flooding in Elm Road area of Thetford, however, our engineers are carrying out checks on the surface water drains in the area to ensure the network is working as it should.”

Roy Slater, regional director for NorseCare, which manages the site, said: “It was a fantastic team effort in getting everyone away safely and, while obviously a worrying time for the tenants, we did our very best to assure them and to keep everyone calm and safe.”

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