A couple whose dream home was ruined by flooding days after they finished £10,000 worth of renovation work say they now live in fear of being swamped by sewage every time it rains.
Lauren Jones and Cameron Harkness bought their first home together in 2019 and spent months renovating the semi-detached property in Alltwen, Swansea.
A week before they planned to move in last August, a flood hit and ruined the whole ground floor of the home, destroying carpets, kitchen flooring, skirting boards and more.
There have been several near misses for the couple since then – the latest coming after heavy rain on Saturday.
The couple, who have had to postpone their wedding three times due to Covid-19, are calling on Welsh Water to treat the repeat flooding as an ’emergency’.
Mr Harkness, 25, said: ‘It has been the worst thing that has happened to me in my entire life.’
Lauren Jones and Cameron Harkness spent £10,000 refurbishing their first home together, only for it to be ruined by flooding a week before their moving in date last August
Floodwater ruined the ground floor of their home in Alltwen, Swansea, last summer.
Following flooding last August, a water hoover and an industrial dehumidifier had to be used to get the water out of the property.
Everything within four inches of the floor had to be ripped up and the couple had to start again, but having spent the budget they’d set aside to put things how they wanted, they are now living in an unfinished home.
Just before Christmas, and then on January 20, flooding hit around their home again, with sewer water rising quickly outside their home, leading to the fire brigade springing into action to stop the sewer water entering their property.
Miss Jones said she saw firefighters ‘filling up water faster than the pumps could take’.
After last August’s flood, everything within four inches of the floor had to be ripped up and the couple had to start again. Since then the couple have suffered three near misses with rising water levels outside their home
Flooding hit the street outside their home in January, prompting the firebrigade to be called out to pump the water away. Miss Jones said she saw the firefighters ‘filling up water faster than the pumps could take’
On Saturday, there was yet another incident as the couple woke up to the same situation of water rising quickly outside their home.
They now say enough is enough and are demanding for action to be taken, admitting they are living in fear anytime they see bad weather on the way.
‘It’s soul destroying for us,’ Miss Jones, 24, said.
‘What would have been a really enjoyable experience for us – I think that’s something every young couple looks forward to – has been so stressful and has been added stress we don’t need with the way things are at the moment.
‘We’ve had enough bad luck. Cameron’s grandmother passed away and our wedding has had to be postponed three times. I am on furlough but I’m going to be made redundant, and Cam has had to take time off work to deal with the problems going on here.
‘We woke up and Cam said it had been raining heavily overnight and that it looked quite bad on the roads. We look all the time anyway. It makes us really anxious.’
The couple, who have had their wedding postponed three times due to Covid-19, say repeated flooding outside their home has left them feeling ‘really anxious’
The couple’s garden was left flooded by sewage water after a manhole overflowed. Welsh Water says it is investigating the cause of the flooding
Mr Harkness added: ‘It has been incredibly stressful and it has had an effect on our mental health. Coming home to this and the issues we have here is like a second job.’
Miss Jones added: ‘I would just want Welsh Water to act like this is an emergency.
‘Imagine if they were in our shoes. Please find a way to stop the flooding in our home.’
A Welsh Water spokeswoman said: ‘We received reports of a the manhole cover overflowing outside the property during the heavy rain over the weekend and sent a team to investigate.
‘Further investigations are required to understand the cause which we will undertake. We understand the distress that can be caused from a manhole overflowing in this way and will ensure we keep the customer informed.’