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Flood leaves Finchley families homeless
Distraught families have been left homeless after a flood left their social housing block uninhabitable yesterday.
People with disabilities, children and elderly neighbours stood helplessly in a car park while a burst pipe sent water gushing through their flats in Glebelands Close, Finchley.
Water spilled from the ceiling on the fifth floor and seeped into people’s homes. The water continued to fall floor by floor, seeping through the ceilings and out of the exterior walls.
Despite the chaos Metropolitan, which manages the 71 flats, did not arrive at the scene until approximately 5pm – three hours after the pipe burst at 2pm.
Zaby Begum, 38, who has lived in the building for seven years, said: “When Metropolitan finally arrived they prioritised the elderly and disabled and those with children – but because I live on my own I was at the bottom of the list.”
At 10.30pm Ms Begum was finally found a place to stay at a bed and breakfast in Nether Street.
She said: “I was exhausted. I’m just really surprised Metropolitan didn’t seem to have an emergency plan in place.”
Neighbours have been complaining about a leaking pipe for six months and this is the third water leak in the past seven years.
Ms Begum added: “This leak has been an ongoing problem for years. There have been short term fixes but this was definitely the final blow.
“It should have been fixed properly and all this could have been avoided. People are just really shocked. Their floors are all ruined, there’s no electricity in the building and there’s no water supply.”
Residents have been told they should be able to move back into their flats on Monday. But some, who will have to get new flooring, say it could be weeks before their homes are habitable.
Water is seeping down the walls, carpets are soaking wet and coridoors are covered with puddles.
The Times Series is waiting for a response from Metropolitan.