Building collapse fears force flood evacuation
An arm’s-length management organisation had to evacuate two of its housing blocks after floods washed away the foundations of newly-built flats nearby.
Your Homes Newcastle evacuated two of its blocks of 18 flats that backed onto the precarious flats on the nearby cul-de-sac Spencer Court in Newburn yesterday morning.
This was done as precaution in case the private blocks collapsed, and tenants are not likely to return to their homes tonight.
Newcastle Council opened an emergency respite centre at Newburn Leisure Centre where ALMO staff helped people secure alternative accommodation. Most of the tenants spent the night with family and friends and two families were housed in the council’s temporary accommodation.
The council also helped rehouse residents from Spencer Court, newly built by developer Dunelm. Two blocks in the private estate were evacuated yesterday morning and 30 people went to the council’s rest centre, with 18 staying overnight.
Newcastle Council’s emergency planning team are investigating Spencer Court and are waiting for a technical inspection to be carried out.
The Environment Agency said this morning about 400 homes across England and Wales have been flooded since Sunday and flood defences have had to be put up to protect 18,500 properties.
Hardest hit areas have been Yorkshire and Northumberland, including the Northumberland town of Morpeth.
Thirty-seven residents from High Stanners in Morpeth were evacuated from properties by Northumberland fire and rescue services and were taken to a rest centre set up in a high school. Some were from social homes managed by Isos Housing. The centre was staffed by Northumberland Council and volunteer organisations.
In North Yorkshire, 16 residents aged between 65 and 92 were rescued from a Richmondshire Council run care home, Oswald Grove, when 3ft of water flooded the building.
Flood defences had been put in seven years ago but the volume of rain meant they failed and water came through the floor and walls. Eleven residents have been temporarily rehoused in residential care homes in Bedale and Easingwold and five are staying with family.
Callum McKeon, assistant director at Richmondshire Council, said: ‘The main concern for the council was to keep the residents safe and warm and after a difficult morning for all concerned all of the residents were re-located to alternative accommodation or with family members in time for tea.’