‘Fountain of water’ erupts from sink to leave Islington pensioners in temporary housing

PUBLISHED: 15:45 02 October 2019

Harold and Loleta O'Dell in temporary accommodation after their flat flooded. Picture: Randell O'Dell

Harold and Loleta O'Dell in temporary accommodation after their flat flooded. Picture: Randell O'Dell


An elderly couple watched in horror as a “fountain of water” burst up from the kitchen sink and flooded their flat off St John Street last week.

Harold and Loleta's sink flooded their entire flat. Picture: SuppliedHarold and Loleta's sink flooded their entire flat. Picture: Supplied

Video footage shows water gushing up from the sink and creating an ankle-high pool of water in every room of the flat in Patrick Coman House, Skinner Street.

The council says heavy rainfall created a back-surge at Harold and Loleta O'Dell's flat - and a number Islington properties were flooded simultaneously.

Loleta, 83, has dementia and her 82-year-old husband was discharged from hospital earlier this month after suffering from sepsis and pneumonia.

"It's ridiculous," Harold told the Gazette. "The sink just came up like a fountain. It pushed up water. You couldn't stop it. This is not the first time or the second time [the sink's flooded] but it's the first time it's gone into the passageway and sitting room.

"The carpet is waterlogged. We can't use it any more because it started to smell.

"I'm not very happy - I just moved out of hospital a few weeks ago and my wife is ill."

The council has moved them into temporary accommodation in Hornsey Road.

Harold worked for the town hall as a cleaner on the estate for 16 years before he retired - he's lived at the property for 35 years and says he "can't handle" further flooding.

Referring to their temporary accommodation, the couple's son Randell said: "It's like being in a cage. Mentally and emotionally they're not in a good situation. They need something more appropriate." He added: "They've had a catalogue of flooding for years - that was the worst."

The council is due to strip the carpets and install a dehumidifier in their flat today (Thu).

Islington Council's housing chief Cllr Diarmaid Ward said: "We sympathise with Mr and Mrs O'Dell. Flooding can be extremely damaging and we know it can be disruptive to have to move into temporary accommodation, even if it is only for a short while.

"We took action to tackle the damage as soon as we were able to arrange access to the O'Dells' property and have their belongings safely stored - carpets are being stripped and dehumidifiers are being installed tomorrow. We're continuing to work on the flat and are also checking the building's pipework and rainwater gullies."

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