ONE month on from major flooding which forced dozens of people from their properties, some Grands Vaux residents say they have been ‘forgotten’ by those managing the recovery effort.
Nataly Fay visited her property this week to check the progress of the repairs, but said there was ‘nobody around’, just a landscaping van.
But Andium Homes has said it is doing everything it can to get its clients back in their homes ‘as quickly and safely as possible’.
A major incident was declared on 17 January when unmanageable rainfall overwhelmed the Island’s drainage system and caused water to rise to waist height in some areas of the Andium estates.
Almost 60 households were evacuated, of which roughly a third have been unable to return home.
Those living in the more severely damaged areas, such as Nicholson Close, might have to wait several more months before their properties are safe to live in.
Ms Fay said: ‘It’s shocking – it’s so strange to see so many of the houses are still empty.
‘It [her home] is still soaking wet. There’s not been any attempt to dry out our row. They have ripped out the kitchen, so why it is all still wet I do not know.’
At the time of the incident there was a major emergency response involving fire crews, the police, the Infrastructure Department, Andium Homes and Jersey Water.
Ms Fay said the urgency shown by the relevant authorities last month was no longer apparent on the site.
‘I think we’ve been forgotten now. I really don’t understand it, because it was a disaster but that is not how they are treating it now. They are not thinking about all of those people who are still stuck in hotels.
‘We are in the dark. There’s still no definitive answer as to when we might be able to come back.’
Last week, Andium spokesperson Carl Mavity said that contractors and repair teams were at the site every day addressing the damage.
However, Ms Fay said she did not believe the social-housing provider had ‘handled it very well’.
‘I’m really disappointed because I think they should have assigned someone to liaise with us to keep us all informed,’ she added.
Pillar Gardens resident Kerry Goguelin – who has launched a petition calling for the government to produce and publish a ‘flood response action plan’ – said she thought the clean-up effort was a ‘slow process’.
She added that she had heard new drying equipment was being brought in to speed things up.
‘We are four weeks in now, so maybe this equipment could have been brought in earlier – potentially I am looking at another three weeks [of repairs].
‘We need to know what they are able to do and are doing, in black and white, and just to be transparent with us because we are the ones who are still living with it a month on,’ she added.
In a statement, an Andium spokesperson said: ‘We are committed to getting our clients back in to their homes as quickly and safely as possible. We understand our residents’ frustration and are doing everything we can to expedite the repair works. However, this will take significant time due to the sheer volume of water damage to the affected properties.
‘There were 18 households affected by the flooding and those residents were initially found alternative temporary accommodation in hotels or with family and friends, with several now moving to permanent new homes.
‘We are in regular contact with our residents, and our client services team are happy to help deal with any questions or concerns, either in person at our offices in Don Street or by telephone on 500700.’
They added that the work required was ‘extensive’ and would take up to three months to complete for the worst-affected properties.
‘The first stage requires us to empty the properties of all damaged furniture and fixtures,’ the statement continues. ‘We can then complete the drying-out process, which in itself can take several weeks. The final stage is when we can carry out the necessary repairs to make the homes habitable.
‘This will involve the replacement of skirtings and doors, rewiring the ground floors and replacing damaged fixtures such as kitchens. Every home will have a full electrical test and new flooring will be laid on the ground floors before residents move back in.’